Sunday, August 16, 2015

216.5 - Good News: New vaccine highly effective against Ebola

Good News: New vaccine highly effective against Ebola

One last bit of good news for this week:

According to the World Health Organization, a vaccine against Ebola has proved to be 100 percent effective during trials conducted in Guinea and might be highly effective in protecting people against the virus. It could be, the WHO said, a "game-changer".

It's a single-dose vaccine called VSV-EBOV. It combined a fragment of the Ebola virus with another safer virus in order to train the immune system to beat Ebola. And it apparently works.

Trials began in March in Guinea, one of three West African nations hit by the Ebola outbreak; the others are Liberia and Sierra Leone. Over 4,000 people who had just recently been exposed to Ebola were vaccinated. After 10 days, not one of them was sick, a result called "remarkable" by medical experts, not only for the effectiveness of the result but for the fact that the entire process of developing the vaccine took less than a year.

So we may - and for the moment have to emphasize may - have beaten Ebola. And isn't that good news.

As a footnote, it's also a measure of what governments and yes, corporations - the vaccine was developed by Merck - can accomplish when they really want to.

Sources cited in links:

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