When the biggest ever Ebola outbreak in the history of our planet began in December 2013, there was not a single proven vaccine or drug against the deadly virus. However, now it seems that we finally have got access to a vaccine that can provide us with100% protection against the virus.
The World Health Organization or WHO has said that the findings of a new study published in the journal Lancet might turn out to be a real game changer. According to experts, the results are truly remarkable.
The said trial was centered on the VSV-EBOV vaccine, a vaccine started by the Public Health Agency of Canada. Later, it was developed by the pharmaceutical firm Merck. The said vaccine combines a part of the deadly Ebola virus with a safer virus. This combination, according to experts, works by training our immune system for beating Ebola.
The vaccine was made to undergo a unique clinical trial in Guinea. Neighbors, friends and family members of patients diagnosed with Ebola were vaccinated for making their immune system strong enough to evade the virus.
Experts believe that this might turn out to be the breakthrough people around the globe were waiting for. However, one has to remember that the results obtained so far are only preliminary, and a lot is yet to be known about the vaccine.
Officials representing the World Health Organization are confident that this vaccine’s effectiveness will range between 75% and 100%. If healthcare providers had access to such a vaccine 18 months back, they would have succeeded in saving thousands of life.
The WHO has informed that so far Merck’s vaccine has been 100% effective. The health officials in Guinea have decided to vaccinate close contacts of people diagnosed with Ebola immediately. Also, as the vaccine to date has not caused any negative side effect, the officials have recommended the vaccine even for children.
This is surely not the only vaccine undergoing trials. Several companies are currently busy preparing their own Ebola vaccine. Examples include big names such as Johnson & Johnson and GSK. However, as the number of Ebola cases is falling rapidly, it has become extremely difficult to prove the efficacy of these vaccines.