27FebEbola vaccine could be available by 2018
A highly effective vaccine that guards against the deadly Ebola virus could be available by 2018, says the World Health Organisation.
Trials of the vaccine, called rVSV-ZEBOV, conducted in Guinea, show it offers 100% protection. Ten days after vaccination, none of the trial subjects developed Ebola virus disease. The very few who did, in the days immediately following vaccination, are thought to have been infected already.
Since the Ebola virus was first identified in 1976, sporadic outbreaks have occurred in Africa, each causing high rates of mortality. However, It was the 2013–2016 West African Ebola outbreak, which resulted in more than 11 300 deaths, which triggered a global response and a race to get an effective vaccine tested and into use.
“While these compelling results come too late for those who lost their lives during West Africa’s Ebola epidemic, they show that when the next Ebola outbreak hits, we will not be defenceless,” said Dr Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation, and the study’s lead author.