March 7, 2015
First three volunteers successfully injected with PfSPZ Vaccine under MCDI’s Equatorial Guinea Malaria Vaccine Initiative
On Saturday, March 7, 2014, after nearly a year of preparations, and two years of work, the first three volunteers were successfully injected with the PfSPZ Vaccine at La Paz Medical Center, Sipopo. A team composed of staff from the Equatorial Guinea Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW), Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) of Tanzania, and La Paz Medical Center carried out the clinical screening of the volunteers, prepared them for vaccination, and then injected the vaccine with assistance from members of Sanaria, Inc.
Sanaria team members Dr. Steve Hoffman, Chief Executive and Scientific Officer, Dr. Kim Lee Sim, Executive Vice President of Process Development & Manufacturing, and Dr. Peter Billingsley, Vice President of International Projects and Strategy came to Malabo to train local staff members and assist with vaccine preparations and formulation.
Following the successful vaccination, the team was joined by multiple members of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Mines and Industry, the National Ethics Committee, and others to celebrate the commencement of a historical project. The National Director of the Malaria Control Program opened the day with a brief speech, in which she welcomed the guests at this important event and spoke briefly about the legacy and current states of Bioko island Malaria Control Program (BIMCP), ten years later. After her speech, she was followed by Dr. Oscar Mario Embon, General Director of La Paz Hospital, by a representative of Private Sector (Marathon Oil Equatorial Guinea, Noble Energy, Ampco and EGLNG), the Vice President of the National Ethics Committee, the Delegate of the District of Baney, the Minister Delegate of Mines, and the Delegate Minister of Health. All talked about the hard work that was put into the project over the past two years by all partners involved, and congratulated MCDI, IHI, Sanaria, La Paz and the MoHSW on this great accomplishment.
The first PfSPZ vaccine trial in Equatorial Guinea will continue for the next year, with additional injections and follow-up visits taking place.
Photos posted at the MCD International Facebook Site