In the future, the Ebola virus shall not kill as many people as it did in recent times because a powerful vaccine to counter-attack it seems to have been found.
Trials that were conducted in the West African state of Guinea-Conakry last year have proven successful, revealing that an Ebola vaccine, named rVSV-ZEBOV, should be 80% effective in a fully-fledged epidemic.
Among nearly 6 000 people vaccinated with the Canadian-developed vaccine in the country’s coastal region of Basse-Guinée, not one person contracted the disease, Deutsche Welle (DW) has reported on Friday, quoting World Health Organisation (WHO) assistant D-G Marie-Paule Kieny.
“But among a control group of unvaccinated volunteers, 23 cases did occur,” Kieny has reportedly wrote in The Lancet journal.
However, the vaccine will only start to be commercialised in 2018, reports said, adding that the contract to manufacture it has been given to the pharmaceutical company Merck.
“When the next Ebola outbreak hits, we will not be defenceless, we may have a vaccine which is registered in 2018,” Kieny told journalists in Geneva.
Merck will seek fast-track approval in the US and Europe next year, and should be able to produce a million in [a] very short period of time, she noted.
The deadly Ebola disease, which broke out in West Africa in 2014, had killed nearly 11 300 people mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
(with the assistance of DW, final editing and additional reports by Issa Sikiti). Photo credit: Dpa