Successful Use of Vaccine to Stop Spread of Ebola Virus in Guinea

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For the first time ever, researchers have been able to successfully a vaccine to stop the spread of the Ebola virus. The vaccine called rVSV-ZEBOV was developed by Canada’s Public Health Agency. The related research study appeared in the journal The Lancet.

Marie Paule Kieny of the World Health Organization (WHO) and Prof. John A. Rottingen of the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health led the scientists behind this study.

The ring vaccination technique was used to select people to get the vaccine. This vaccination strategy was effective against smallpox in the 1970s. While all individuals aged 18 and above were allowed to participate in the trial, pregnant and breastfeeding women were excluded. In total, 4,394 people received the vaccine. About 2,104 people received it shortly after coming into contact with an infected person while 2,380 people received it three weeks later.

All the people in the first group tested negative for Ebola after 10 days. In the second group, however, 16 infections were recorded.

The result of the trial has been widely commended since there is currently no vaccine against the Ebola virus.

The rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine has been licensed to Merck and NewLink Genetics.