Ebola Vaccine Update
It’s 2:00pm and Lizzie is at the library, aiming to be more productive and to make use of her free time wisely. She knew, from the moment that she set foot in nursing school that this course was going to be a tough one. However, with a goal in mind, which is to be a successful Registered Nurse someday, she is very much determined to graduate with flying colors. To achieve such, she would have to go an extra mile such as by studying in advance. This day, she is reading all about vaccines and recent updates. While scanning through books and magazines, one particular vaccine caught her attention – Ebola Vaccine.
Effective ebola vaccine by the end of 2015
In recent years, the Ebola Virus has made itself known and has caused alarm amongst people as it claimed thousands of lives. As of the moment, there are no vaccines to protect against EVD licensed for use in humans. However, clinical trials for numerous candidate vaccines are in various phases and a safe and effective vaccine is anticipated by the end of 2015.
According to the World Health Organization, results from Phase I clinical trials for two vaccine candidates – ChAd3-ZEBOV, developed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in collaboration with the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and VSV-EBOV, developed by NewLink Genetics and Merck Vaccines USA in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada – were obtained in January. Both vaccine candidates have been shown to be safe and well tolerated in humans. The results from the trials were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Experts reveal that a vaccine against Ebola has been shown to be 100% successful in trials conducted during the outbreak in Guinea and is likely to bring the West African epidemic to an end.
A WHO statement said, “Trials of the single-dose VSV-EBOV vaccine began in March in Guinea — one of three West African nations at the center of the recent outbreak — and have shown such promise that this week it was decided to extend immediate vaccination to “all people at risk” after close contact with an infected person.”
According to Dr. Margaret Chan, the body’s director-general, “this is an extremely promising development, but it will take weeks at the least, and possibly a couple of months, for more supply to be made.”
Participants of the trial
Researchers have been utilizing a “ring” strategy, which was based on that used in smallpox eradication in the 1970s in order to test the vaccine’s effectiveness.
“The premise is that by vaccinating all people who have come into contact with an infected person you create a protective ‘ring’ and stop the virus from spreading further,” said John-Arne Rottingen of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, which has been involved in implementing the trial.
A WHO statement revealed that more than 4,000 close contacts of almost 100 Ebola patients, including family members, neighbors and co-workers, have voluntarily participated in the trial, to date. Experts such as scientists, doctors, donors and drug companies joined forces to race the vaccine through a process that usually takes more than a decade in just 12 months.
Børge Brende, the foreign minister of Norway, which helped fund the trial stated that “This new vaccine, if the results hold up, may be the silver bullet against Ebola, helping to bring the current outbreak to zero and to control future outbreaks of this kind.”
Though more research is needed, the results so far on this trial show 100% efficacy.