Citing concerns over “aerosol exposure to Ebola,” the Pentagon awarded a $9.5 million contract to a biotechnology company to manufacture an Ebola vaccine.
The company, Profectus BioSciences, announced today that the Pentagon “contracted the manufacture and … preclinical testing of the Profectus trivalent Ebola/Marburg vaccine” which had previously been tested to “confirm protection of non-human primates from aerosol exposure to Ebola and Marburg viruses.”
“In July 2014, Profectus BioSciences and the GNL were awarded a 3 year, $8.5M grant from the DOD/Joint Vaccine Acquisition Program to support development of a lyophilized trivalent VesiculoVax™-vectored vaccine to protect against all major strains of Ebola and Marburg viruses delivered as aerosols,” the press release stated. “The lyophilized trivalent vaccine is being tested in both pre-exposure and post-exposure studies to confirm protection of non-human primates from aerosol exposure to Ebola and Marburg viruses.”
The development of this vaccine stemmed from the Pentagon’s concern over the airborne transmission of filoviruses such as Ebola which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finally admitted spreads like the flu through coughing and sneezing.
The Pentagon took the threat so seriously that it hosted a “Filovirus Medical Countermeasures Workshop” in 2013 which “brought together government, academic and industry experts” to underscore its Ebola vaccine requirements.
“The DoD seeks a trivalent filovirus vaccine that is effective against aerosol exposure and protective against filovirus disease for at least one year,” read an executive summary of the workshop.
On Monday, the CDC released a pamphlet warning against the “droplet spread” of Ebola which happens “when germs traveling inside droplets that are coughed or sneezed from a sick person enter the eyes, nose, or mouth of another person.”
“Is Ebola spread through droplets? Yes,” the pamphlet reads.
But, strangely enough, the CDC’s strict definition of “airborne transmission” is limited to “when a germ floats through the air after a person talks, coughs, or sneezes” and not “when germs traveling inside droplets that are coughed or sneezed from a sick person,” which are obviously traveling through air as well.
“Note to CDC: 99% of the world doesn’t know the difference, or even care for that matter,” wrote Royce Christyn with Yournewswire.com. “What we want to know is ‘if this person is sick and they sneeze or cough near me, am I going to die?'”
U.S. Army scientists previously demonstrated that the airborne transmission of Ebola was possible “at lower temperature and humidity than that normally present in sub-Saharan Africa” during a 1995 study, and they suggested the high temperatures and humidity present in Africa “may have been a factor limiting aerosol transmission of Ebola virus in the African epidemics.”