A Mishap Sheds Light on an Ebola Vaccine
Dr. Lewis Rubinson, from Sierra Leone, anticipated a possible risk of contracting the deadly disease, Ebola, after experiencing a needle jab into his thumb back in September. This intensive care specialist and associate professor at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine was given a shot of an experimental vaccine. This vaccine was previously used on someone else. The purpose of this vaccine was to serve as a stimulant to Dr. Rubinson’s immune system to fight off Ebola if he had been exposed to the virus. However, blood tests confirmed that the doctor was never infected by the virus. The vaccine did produce several symptoms to Dr. Rubinson. These symptoms included: fever, chills, nausea, muscle pains, and a headache. After a few days of having these symptoms, blood tests suggested that Dr. Rubinson was probably immune to Ebola.
The vaccine given to Dr. Rubinson was made from another virus, for vesicular stomatitis virus, or V.S.V. V.S.V. is a virus created by scientists from Canada and the United States about ten years ago. This virus causes a mouth disease in cattle but rarely infects people, and has been used successfully in other vaccines. The vaccine given to Dr. Rubinson was not approved by the Food and Drug Administration and had to have a special request to be administered on an emergency basis.
I appreciate and respect Dr. Rubinson’s willingness for wanting to receive the vaccine. If I was the first person to accept the vaccine, I would be fearful considering the side effects it produces and it not being approved by FDA. We need more people like Dr. Rubinson to be courageous and fearless.