Those involved in funding the trial called it a “remarkable” result and said the co-operation between organisations and countries that allowed it to come about augured well for future outbreaks of unsafe viruses.
“This could finally be the beginning of the end of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and also be useful when combating this disease in the future”, he said. Previous studies showed it was safe. The researchers then counted the number of new Ebola cases in each ring; because they weren’t sure how long it takes for the vaccine’s protection to kick in, they only included cases that occurred at least 10 days after vaccination in their primary analysis of the data.
HANDOUT/EPA A vial of an experimental Ebola vaccine proved effective against battling the immediate outbreak of the virus when tested in Guinea. The next phase of the trial consists of vaccinating Ebola workers on the front lines.
The World Health Organization on Friday said that it will continue testing an Ebola vaccine that has had a 100 percent success rate so far among more than 4,000 people who have had close contact with Ebola patients in Guinea.
Despite the fact that more conclusive evidence is needed to ascertain the effectiveness of the VSV-EBOV vaccine on trial in Guinea since March 2015, WHO indicated that it has to date shown 100 percent efficacy in individuals from affected communities.
Here’s what you need to know about the Ebola vaccine front-runners.
To conduct the Guinea trial, researchers used newly confirmed Ebola cases to identify clusters of people with whom the patients had contact. The drug from Merck is one of several vaccines in clinical trials, with GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Novavax Inc. also developing medicines.
“Earlier than the trial began, in most clusters there had been a collection of Ebola instances over the weeks previous to randomisation”, Dr. Marie Paule Kieny, one of many co-authors of the WHO research into the vaccine, advised medical journal The Lancet. Ebola doesn’t spread through the air, which means that only direct contact with the body fluids of a person who is showing symptoms of Ebola will spread the virus.
With Ebola still raging in West Africa, the race to find a vaccine is heating up.
And Guinea’s top government response coordinator, Sakoba Keita, has expressed hope that an effective vaccine could lessen the stigma against Ebola sufferers and their families.
The board of outside experts advised the researchers to stop using a control group and offer vaccine going forward to all the people who met the criteria for the study.
The vaccine was originally licensed to NewLink Genetics and Merck & Co. has an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement to research, develop, manufacture and distribute it.
“But it’s a great day to see this results coming out after all that work”, said Feldmann, who left Winnipeg in 2008 to head a laboratory at the National Institutes of Health’s Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Montana.
Instead the team working on the vaccine chose to use a “ring” design. The disease, which surged in the spring of 2014 primarily in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, has infected about 27,800 people and killed 11,300, according to the World Health Organization’s latest figures.