Trials conducted in Guinea, one of the West African countries most affected by an outbreak that ended only this year, show the vaccine offers 100% protection and it is now being fast-tracked for regulatory approval.
GAVI, a global vaccine alliance, paid Merck pharmaceutical company $5 million for 300,000 doses of the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine. Results published in The Lancet medical journal show that of the nearly 6,000 people who received the vaccine, all were virus free 10 days later.
In a group of the same size not vaccinated, 23 later developed Ebola. Only one person who was vaccinated had a serious side effect that the researchers think was caused by the jab. This was a very high temperature and the patient recovered fully. It is not known how well the vaccine might work in children since this was not tested in the trial.
Analysis – Tulip Mazumdar, Global Health Correspondent
Ebola has been around for 40 years now. But it wasn’t until the height of the 2014 outbreak in West Africa that the world decided to invest some serious money into finding treatments and cures.
I watched as families of those who had become infected were isolated in their homes. Often entire neighborhoods were quarantined behind orange fencing. That was their best chance of not becoming infected and infecting others.
But as hundreds of people continued to die, and cases started being exported to Europe and the U.S. – the world decided to act.
Now, two years later, we have a vaccine. It usually takes around 10 years.
There were some mild side effects reported in this trial, and the vaccine is only known to protect against one of the strains of Ebola, but it is the most deadly Zaire strain.
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