Ebola vaccine efficacy trial ready to launch in Guinea

5 Mar 2015

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Working towards zero cases of Ebola. Photo: UNMEER/Martine Perret

An experimental vaccine is to be tested for its effectiveness to prevent Ebola, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Based on what it called “promising data” from initial clinical trials in late 2014, WHO, the Health Ministry of Guinea and other NGOs will launch the trial in Guinea on 7 March.
The vaccine, called VSV-EBOV was developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Stephanie Coutrix reports.
WHO says if this vaccine is found effective, it will be the first preventive tool against Ebola in history.
The UN health agency’s Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan, said it took hard work to reach this point.
Close to 9,800 people have died in West Africa from the outbreak, mainly in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.
Vaccination will take place in areas of Basse Guinée, the region that currently has the highest number of cases in the country.
WHO says the trial strategy adopted will be “ring vaccination”, based on the approach used to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s.
This involves the identification of a newly diagnosed Ebola case, called the “index case”, and the tracing of all that person’s contacts.
Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.
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