The World Health Organizations says an experimental Ebola vaccine was highly protective against the deadly virus in a major trial in Guinea. The vaccine is the first to prevent infection, and the findings published Thursday in The Lancet “add weight” to early results published in 2015.
The vaccine, called rVSV-ZEBOV, was studied in a trial involving 11, 841 people in 2015. Among the 5,837 people who received the vaccine, no Ebola cases were recorded 10 days or more after vaccination.
In comparison, there were 23 cases 10 days or more after vaccination among those who did not receive the vaccine. The trial took place in the coastal region of Basse-Guinée, where new Ebola cases were still emerging in 2015 when the research started.
The unprecedented Ebola outbreak resulted in more than 11,300 deaths between 2013 and 2016.
“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 Dr Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation and the study’s lead author.
The organization collaborated with Guinea’s Ministry of Health and other international partners.
“Ebola left a devastating legacy in our country. We are proud that we have been able to contribute to developing a vaccine that will prevent other nations from enduring what we endured,” said Dr KeÏta Sakoba, Coordinator of the Ebola Response and Director of the National Agency for Health Security in Guinea.
Complete details on the research methodology and partners are available at the WHO link.
Image: UNMEER File Photo