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WHO endorses Ebola Vaccine that’s up to 100% effective

Ebola Vaccine

  • A major trial has shown a prototype vaccine to be “very effective” against the deadly Ebola virus, according to the World Health Organization that co-funded the study.
  • Not one of the 6,000 people in Guinea who were given the test vaccine last year contracted the disease within 10 days,
  • WHO said on Friday announcing the final results, without elaborating on what happens after 10 days as Ebola has an incubation period of up to three weeks.
  • In a comparison group of similar size, not given the vaccine, there were 23 cases in the 10 days, researchers reported in The Lancet medical journal.
  • “If we compare zero to 23, this strongly suggests that the vaccine is very effective, that it could be up to 100 percent effective,” Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO’s assistant director-general and lead author of the study, told AFP news agency.

Ebola Vaccine

  • Her team of three dozen researchers calculated a 90 percent likelihood during a full-fledged epidemic that the vaccine, known as  rVSV-ZEBOV, would work in more than 80 percent of cases.
  • Ebola Vaccine name :  rVSV-ZEBOV
  • The new vaccine – initially developed in Canada by public health authorities before being taken over by pharmaceutical giant Merck – is scheduled to be submitted to health authorities in the United States and Europe sometime next year under a fast-track approval process.
  • “We may have a vaccine which is registered in 2018,” Kieny said at a press conference on Thursday, noting that the standard approval process for a new drug takes a decade, if not more.
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Major Questions about Ebola Virus :

  • However, it is still unknown how long the efficacy of an inoculation lasts.
  • “With the Canadian Merck vaccine, you have a protection very early after vaccination, but we don’t know if it will last after six months,” Kieny said.
  • Also, initial tests last year did not include children, while the most recent trials covered those over six years old.
  • Of the more than 6,000 people injected with the Ebola vaccine only two showed serious adverse effects, the study reported. Both recovered fully.
  • But it is still unknown if the vaccine is safe for children six and under, pregnant women, or people with the Aids virus – all groups that were excluded from the most recent trials.
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Ebola Vaccine

  • Other Ebola vaccines under development – some of which have been tested in humans – could prove more effective over a longer period.
  • British firm Glaxosmithkline and Johnson & Johnson, based in the US,  each have experimental products in the pipeline.
  • China and Russia have also developed vaccines, with the Russian one having just finished the second phase of three-step clinical trials.
  • Some of these vaccines require two doses three weeks apart, and may confer a longer immunity.
  • “That might be better suited to immunise health workers in advance of an outbreak,” Kieny said.


What is Ebola?

  • Ebola, also known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever or Ebola viral disease, is a rare and deadly illness caused by one of the strains of Ebola virus.
  • This viral agent is regarded as a prototype pathogen of viral hemorrhagic fever, with high fatality rates in humans and primates.
  • The natural reservoir of Ebola virus remains unknown, although bats seem to be the most likely reservoir.
  • Infections with Ebola virus are characterized by immune suppression and a severe inflammatory response that damages vascular, coagulation and immune systems, subsequently resulting in bleeding, multiorgan failure and shock.
  • Human-to-human transmission can lead to outbreaks, which are often initiated by a single introduction from the reservoir in nature or another end host.
  • Despite important scientific achievements on the biology and pathogenesis of Ebola virus during the past two decades, exact virulence factors and host responses are yet to be determined.
  • Those unanswered questions have hampered the development of proper treatment methods and vaccines, which is a reason why there are currently no licensed prophylaxis or treatment measures for this infection.



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