Friday, 29 August 2014

Ebola Researchers To Speed Up Vaccine Trials

Researchers have concluded plans to speed up vaccine trials on Ebola, which could make it possible for healthy volunteers to start testing it as early as next month in three countries of Gambia, Mali, and Britain. 

The vaccines will be made available to volunteers in Gambia, Mali, and Britain in effort to curb the spread of the epidemic, which has killed over 1,552 in West Africa so far.
Researchers are hoping that the trials could finish by the end of the year (2014). If the trials prove successful, vaccines could then be given to people infected with Ebola, which is spread through bodily fluids. 

This was made known on Thursday by leading pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, which is developing the vaccine with the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Wellcome Trust, which is partly financing the trials.

The statement reads that: “A candidate Ebola vaccine could be given to healthy volunteers in the UK, the Gambia and Mali as early as September, as part of a series of safety trials of potential vaccines.”

However, the trials still require ethical and regulatory approval, and will be funded by a £2.8 million grant from the Wellcome Trust, Britain’s Medical Research Council (MRC) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

The Oxford study will involve 60 healthy volunteers, while those in the Gambia and Mali will each involve 40.
This will also allow GSK to make some 10,000 extra doses of the vaccine so that if the trials are successful, it could be made available to the WHO quickly.

The safety tests of the vaccine will take place at Oxford University alongside a US trial run by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Nigeria has so far recorded 5 deaths, including the index case, a Liberian by name Patrick Sawyer who imported the virus into the country in July.

Last Tuesday, the Federal Government announced a new resumption date for all private and public primary and secondary schools in the country in order to curb the spread of the deadly disease. They are now to resume on the 13th of October 2014

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