Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been telling everyone in the press who will listen to him in the last fortnight that an Ebola vaccine would be within spitting distance — if it weren’t for the corporate skinflints.
“We have been working on our own Ebola vaccine, but we never could get any buy-in from the companies,” he told USA Today.
“We have a candidate, we put it in monkeys and it looks good, but the incentive on the part of the pharmaceutical companies to develop a vaccine that treats little outbreaks every thirty or forty years — well, that’s not much incentive,” he told Scientific American.
Almost everyone familiar with the subject says that the know-how is there. It’s just that outbreaks are so rare and affect too few people for it to make development worthwhile — that is, profitable — for large pharmaceutical companies.