An worldwide group of researchers associated with the World Health Organization has published its final report on the Ebola vaccine trial in Guinea, finding that the vaccine is a safe and effective way to prevent Ebola infection.
In the event of another Ebola outbreak, 300,000 samples of the vaccine have been stockpiled and more work is being done to ensure it is approved by regulators.
The reports said the trial took place in the coastal region of Basse-Guinée, the area of Guinea still experiencing new Ebola cases when the trial started in 2015.
Findings from tests of rVSV-ZEBOV, a trial vaccine, show a 100% protection rate with thousands of people tested in Guinea all confirmed as virus-free within 10 days. To identify people in Guinea at risk of contracting Ebola, researchers used a "ring vaccination" method inspired by the one used to wipe out smallpox in the 1970s. Then "rings" or clusters of anyone who came in contact with the person are vaccinated. Each of these "rings" ended up including about 80 people.
The researchers said the most common side effects from the vaccine were headache, fatigue, and muscle pain.
Not one person contracted the disease, but among a control group of unvaccinated volunteers 23 cases did occur, wrote Kieny who led a team at the World Health Organization which took over the study. People who fell ill within the first nine days were discounted as it was assumed - given the incubation period of the disease - they had been infected before the vaccination was given. In all, there were 2,151 people vaccinated.
Researchers Have Finally Found 100 % Effective Vaccine For Ebola!
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The ensemble, informally known as "Russia's singing weapon", has about 200 members and has achieved a number of global awards. President Vladimir Putin has called for an investigation and declared December 26th a national day of mourning.
Nevertheless, the vaccine still needs full regulatory approval, expected by 2018.
The trial was led by the World Health Organization (WHO), working with Guinea's health ministry and worldwide groups. A number of other vaccines - developed by GlaxoSmithKline and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology, among other groups - also have shown promise and are advancing in human trials.
"Ebola left a devastating legacy in our country", Sakoba said. Those deaths, mixed with the fact that the disease popped up in both Europe and the United States, gave officials enough reason to fund research for an effective vaccine.
In the cohort of patients that didn't receive the vaccine or got a delayed dose, 23 individuals contracted the virus.
"Initially, rings were randomised to receive the vaccine either immediately or after a 3-week delay, and only adults over 18 years were offered the vaccine", the World Health Organization said.
Further studies are needed to determine the vaccine's safety in children and other vulnerable groups, such as people with HIV, the researchers said.