Published: Mon, December 26, 2016
Health Care | By Gwendolyn Kim

New Ebola Vaccine Is 100% Effective

New Ebola Vaccine Is 100% Effective

The World Health Organization, which led the trial, says the vaccine could be available for mass use by 2018.

A major clinical trial of new vaccine took place in Guinea's coastal region of Basse-Guinée where new ebola cases were still existent at the time of the experiment.

The World Health Organization's assistant director-general for health systems and innovation, Marie-Paule Kieny, admitted that the recent study on the successful Ebola vaccine came too late for those who lost their lives during the West African epidemic.

Since Ebola virus was first identified in 1976, sporadic outbreaks have been reported in Africa.

The trial used a ring vaccination protocol that had been shown to be effective in eliminating smallpox. That included family members who lived with patients and were exposed to their clothing or linens, as well as the next ring of people who had interacted with these contacts. Some minor side effects like headaches and fatigue were reported, but among those to receive it not a single Ebola case was reported 10 or more days after administration. That's because an experimental vaccine was found to be 100% effective, according to the medical journal - The Lancet.

"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", John-Arne Rottingen of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, which has been involved in implementing the trial, told CNN past year. "This novel and historic trial, conducted under the most hard of circumstances, has demonstrated that the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine is safe and effective", co-author John Edmunds told The Guardian.

Dubbed the Ebola Zaire vaccine V920, expectations are that it will offer much-needed cushion against the virus.

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In the meantime, Merck has committed to ensuring that 300,000 doses of the vaccine are available for emergencies under a protocol called "compassionate use".

Preventively to protect health-care workers or front-line workers in countries vulnerable to Ebola.

The clinical trial was led by the World Health Organization (WHO), alongside Guinea's health ministry, and in partnership with other worldwide organizations. In comparison, the control groups that received a delayed vaccination saw 23 cases of infection.

The vaccine is made up of the vesicular stomatitis virus (which harms cattle but doesn't make humans sick) and an Ebola virus surface protein that prompts the human body to produce antibodies.

Final test results confirm an experimental Ebola vaccine is highly effective.

rVSV-ZEBOV is one of at least 15 vaccines being designed worldwide.

The study was funded by WHO, UK Wellcome Trust, Médecins Sans Frontières, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Canadian government.

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