A new Ebola vaccine, tested on monkeys in its earliest trials, now finds itself being tested on humans.
The National Institute of Health is on a mission to fast-track an Ebola vaccine so that it makes its way to infected parties as soon as possible. To this end, two women, a 39-year-old and a 27-year-old, are being given the vaccine with the purpose of preventing Ebola.
The Ebola vaccine has proven successful in monkey tests, prompting researchers to try it on human subjects in order to speed up the process by which a vaccine enters the world market. The vaccine itself was developed by Okairos AG, a Swiss company that was later purchased by GlaxoSmithKline in 2013. Okairos was working with the National Institute of Health to develop an Ebola vaccine when GlaxoSmithKline purchased the company.
$4.7 million in Ebola vaccine research funding will be used to administer the vaccine to participants for clinical trial this month at the University of Oxford. All in all, 140 individuals, both men and women, will be administered the Ebola vaccine to examine its side effects and overall impact to safety upon participants, although phase 1 of the clinical trial will start with 20 men and women ranging in ages from 18 to 50.“There is an urgent need for a protective Ebola vaccine, and it is important to establish that a vaccine is safe and spurs the immune system to react in a way necessary that protect against infection,” according to National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci. The NIH says that it will have the results of the Ebola vaccine study at the end of this year, but it will take until 2015 to administer the vaccine to some small number of health workers.
So far, Ebola has killed 1,900 in West Africa, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Ebola has also been responsible for taking the lives of other 60 doctors who have also tried treating victims in the region who exhibit symptoms similar to that of an Ebola outbreak. Ebola has also taken the life of one victim in Saudi Arabia, and infected two missionaries with Christian group Samaritan’s Purse from the United States. Both individuals are being treated at Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital, one of few units in the country that can treat the Ebola disease.