Forty years after the first Ebola virus outbreak, it looks like we’ve finally developed a vaccine that provides a high degree of protection against this deadly hemorrhagic fever that kills an average of 50 percent of those who contract it.
Just yesterday, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed the results of a test of newly developed vaccine rVSV-ZEBOV. According their their findings published in the journal The Lancet, none of the nearly 6,000 individuals vaccinated with rVSV-ZEBOV in Guinea, a country with more than 3,000 confirmed cases of Ebola, showed any signs of contracting the disease.
“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,” said WHO scientist and study author Marie-Paule Kieny in a press release.
The trials for the vaccine were conducted by Guinea’s Ministry of Health in tandem with the WHO’s R&D Blueprint, which was also behind its development.
“This both historical and innovative trial was made possible thanks to exemplary international collaboration and coordination, the contribution of many experts worldwide, and strong local involvement,” said chairman of the study pioneering group John-Arne Røttingen, Specialist Director at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.