Expanding the fight against Ebola

Handwashing is a first line of defense against infection.

Handwashing is a first line of defense against infection.

President Obama headed to CDC headquarters today, where he was briefed on the Ebola outbreak and subsequently announced the expansion of a plan to help West Africa combat the outbreak and prevent its spread to the US. This comes after members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee inquired about US protection from the global epidemic – a stark reminder of our vulnerabilities and preparedness.

As the Ebola crisis continues, the global health community continues to rally together to find solutions. Just a few weeks ago, GSK and NIH announced that a new vaccine candidate is heading into clinical trials. GSK’s Vice President of Public Policy, Donna Altenpohl, appeared on BioCentury TV yesterday to discuss this hopeful development and the United States’ response to Ebola. Joined by NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci and BARDA’s Dr. Robin Robinson, Donna delved into GSK's role and the vaccine development and trials and FDA’s emergency use authority.

We know that this Ebola epidemic is not the last global health crisis we will face and ensuring our country is prepared to protect citizens both in the US and across the world is critically important.

As Donna discussed in an op-ed recently published in The Hill, the country currently lacks designated biosecurity priorities and funding for preparedness is splintered between government agencies – all hindering the U.S. response to emerging threats to public health. Public health preparedness needs to be a top issue. To learn more about GSK’s commitment to biosecurity and pandemic preparedness, visit our website.