Oxford London Lecture 2016: Vaccines for Ebola: Tackling a Market Failure

11 March 2016

In 2014 the largest ever outbreak of Ebola virus disease took the world by surprise. This infectious disease has one of the highest case fatality rates known to medicine and most of those who become ill die. Over 11,000 people died in West Africa before the outbreak was finally brought under control. The disease dealt a devastating blow to three of the world’s poorest countries and cost an estimated $5bn globally. No drugs or vaccines were licensed or available in mid-2014.

There are several lessons to be learned. Many potential solutions have been proposed to provide vaccine stockpiles or to undertake large scale prevention vaccination against future outbreaks. Professor Adrian Hill, Director of the University of Oxford's Jenner Institute and Co-Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Vaccines, discusses the pros and cons of these and the likelihood of any receiving the financing that could allow them to happen.