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Vaccination

Good news: Scientists may have discovered a vaccine for Ebola

But it is still some way from hitting the market.

NO SAFETY CONCERNS have been found in a vaccine for the Ebola virus prepared by an international team of scientists.

The findings of the tests are carried in the New England Journal of Medicine.

In the trials, 20 US volunteers were immunised against the virus, which has killed thousands in Africa.

Although volunteers developed a transient fever within a day of vaccination, the study says that all 20 were able to produce the antibodies necessary to fight the virus.

It says that clinical trials are ongoing on the vaccine.

Dr Anthony Fauci of America’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAD), which is developing the vaccine alongside GlaxoSmithKline, says that the vaccine could end the current outbreak and prevent future epidemics.

“Based on these positive results from the first human trial of this candidate vaccine, we are continuing our accelerated plan for larger trials to determine if the vaccine is efficacious in preventing Ebola infection,” he added.

But the NIAID/GSK vaccine is still a long way from being ready for use in the field.

The NIAID is “in active discussions with Liberian officials and other partners about next-stage vaccine testing in West Africa” for efficacy and safety, the NIH said, but no announcement on larger-scale trials was expected before early next year.

There is no licensed treatment or vaccine against the Ebola virus, which is transmitted through bodily fluids and has been fatal in an estimated 70 percent of cases in the current outbreak.

The World Health Organisation says that the global death toll from the Ebola virus has increased to 5,689 out of a total of 15,935 cases of infection, almost entirely in western Africa.

With reporting from AFP

Read: Glasnevin Trust is helping with the burial of Ebola victims in Sierre Leone

Read: The HSE are still preparing the country for a possible Ebola outbreak

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