[Back to the Future. Vaccine trials against Ebola in the history of resistance to immunization].

Bulletin de la Societe de pathologie exotique (1990)

PubMedID: 27686081

Moulin AM. [Back to the Future. Vaccine trials against Ebola in the history of resistance to immunization]. Bull Soc Pathol Exot. 2016;.
Vaccine trials against Ebola virus have been conceived and organized, in August 2014, after the epidemic started in three countries of West Africa. If the preparedness had been missing, the planners tried to anticipate the resistance to vaccination, in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. This article offers a retrospective view on the resistances to vaccination throughout its history, from smallpox inoculation to anti-polio vaccine. Resistances have been linked to the political contexts and the rejection of an oppressive power, either local or foreign, as well as mistakes and scientific uncertainties. The analysis of the historical factors of resistance leads to reverse the question: what convinces people to accept a vaccine trial, despite the obscurities of the immunization processes inside the body? The article hypothesizes that Guineans and West Africans face a dilemma similar to their counterparts in the past, whether or not to rally to an experimental immunization, the results of which are still pending. They may appropriate the Western beliefs about the efficacy of vaccines to their own ways of circumventing misfortune. Further field studies will be required to assess the role of the vaccinal trials and the response to the epidemic in the "convalescence" of these societies, being aware that the trials will not allow a complete assessment of the vaccines, because of the end of the epidemic.