Great news: a major clinical trial has found an experimental vaccine to be “highly protective” against Ebola.
11,800 people received the vaccine in a recent study done by the World Health Organization (WHO) in coastal Guinea. Amazingly, 100% of those involved were protected against the deadly disease.
Ebola has killed tragically 11,000 people around the globe since 2013. It also infected more than twice that amount as it’s raged through West Africa and beyond.
According to a report in the Washington Post, the vaccine is being tried in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia as the medical world strives to protect individuals in those areas that have been hardest hit by Ebola.
The vaccine is easy to receive, and involves just one needle. And apparently, it’s not the only one around, as others developed by GlaxoSmithKline and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology are said to be in the works.
The current vaccine is licensed by Merck, and both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency are in the process of speeding up its approval, in order to have it on hand to save lives.
The vaccine looks to be extremely effective, but what researchers don’t know is how long it lasts for. If the effects wear off in a matter of years, or not is unknown. Nonetheless, it’s an excellent thing to have to go forward with regardless, into the future.
As Marie-Paule Kieny, the study’s lead author and WHO assistant director general for health systems has stated,
“While these compelling results come too late for those who lost their lives during West Africa’s Ebola epidemic, they show that when the next Ebola outbreak hits, we will not be defenseless.”
Current Ebola outbreaks have been contained, but health officials feel that the disease could strike again.