MSF Responds to GSK Remarks that it's "Too Late" for an Ebola Vaccine

A Doctors Without Borders (MSF), health worker in protective clothing holds a child suspected of having Ebola in the MSF treatment center on October 5, 2014 in Paynesville, Liberia. The girl and her mother, showing symptoms of the deadly disease, were awaiting test results for the virus. The Ebola epidemic has killed more than 3,400 people in West Africa, according to the World Health Organization. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
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To hear GSK state that an Ebola vaccine will come "too late" for this outbreak is frankly disappointing. While we recognize and appreciate the vastly accelerated development of GSK’s Ebola vaccine, efforts need to go further, as we believe a vaccine could be important in curbing this outbreak as well as preventing and controlling Ebola in the future.

Nobody knows how long this outbreak will last; our patients, front-line workers, and people across West Africa can’t afford to hear "it’s too late."

The situation on the ground is disastrous; this is a crisis. A vaccine could be the tipping point, but we need GSK to show leadership by making a bold decision now and taking on some risk in driving through a process of accelerating development in parallel with the scale-up of supply.

This outbreak cannot afford delays; the impact on the number of people who will suffer and die from Ebola could be significant. Countries need to play their role as well in providing incentives and facilitating the rapid development of a vaccine. We encourage GSK as well as all other vaccine developers to pull out all the stops and be ambitious in getting a safe and effective vaccine out to West Africa with all possible speed.

—Dr. Manica Balasegaram, Executive Director, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières Access Campaign

A Doctors Without Borders (MSF), health worker in protective clothing holds a child suspected of having Ebola in the MSF treatment center on October 5, 2014 in Paynesville, Liberia. The girl and her mother, showing symptoms of the deadly disease, were awaiting test results for the virus. The Ebola epidemic has killed more than 3,400 people in West Africa, according to the World Health Organization. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
John Moore/Getty Images