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World on the Verge of an Effective Ebola Vaccine - WHO

Initial results were so promising that random trials were stopped on 26 July to allow for all people at risk to receive the vaccine immediately, and to minimize the time necessary to gather more conclusive evidence needed for eventual licensure of the product, a statement by WHO said.
31 Jul 2015 17:55
An experimental Ebola vaccine has proved to be \"highly effective\" at preventing the deadly disease, results from an interim analysis of the Guinea Phase III efficacy vaccine trial show.

The World Health Organization says that the vaccine has so far been 100 per cent effective in trials conducted in Guinea. To date, over 4 000 close contacts of almost 100 Ebola patients, including family members, neighbors, and co-workers, have voluntarily participated in the trial.

The vaccine, known as VSV-EBOV, was tested since March 2015 to evaluate the efficacy, effectiveness and safety of its single dose. The trial is implemented by Guinea authorities, World Health Organisation, Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

Initial results were so promising that random trials were stopped on 26 July to allow for all people at risk to receive the vaccine immediately, and to minimize the time necessary to gather more conclusive evidence needed for eventual licensure of the product, a statement by WHO said.

\"If proven effective, this is going to be a game changer, and it will change the management of the current and future Ebola outbreaks,\" Dr Margaret Chan, the Director-General of the World Health Organization told Journalists.

Over 11,000 people have died since the Ebola outbreak that swept through the West African states of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone Last year. It remains the most severe outbreak of Ebola since the discovery of Ebola viruses in 1976.  

Uganda on the other hand has witnessed five Ebola outbreaks over the past 14 years which have been quickly contained through a combination of epidemiological luck and a well-coordinated response system operating at several levels of the health service.

The most devastating was the first Ebola outbreak in the northern district of Gulu in 2000 which infected 425 people and killed 224.

However, although the vaccine up to now shows 100 per cent efficacy in individuals, more conclusive evidence is needed on its capacity to protect populations through what is called “herd immunity”.

John-Arne Røttingen, the director of the Division of Infectious Disease Control at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health said the results need to be further looked into in order to collect more data on the vaccine.

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