U.S. is planning to start testing an experimental Ebola vaccine next month. However the vaccine will not be available until next year.
U.S. health officials announced that the human trials of the Ebola vaccine will start next week and the trials of other vaccines will follow next.
The trials of the vaccine involves 20 healthy volunteers at the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. The results are expected by the end of the year according to the director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, Anthony Fauci.
NIH is in the process of developing the vaccine for more than a decade. However the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has added urgency and NIH and FDA has accelerated the development of the vaccine.
Although NIH has been developing the vaccine for more than a decade, the public health emergency in West Africa has pushed both the NIH and the Food and Drug Administration to accelerate its development.
NIH director Francis Collins said “the agencies have taken extraordinary measures to launch the study as quickly as possible. This is a public health emergency that demands an all-hands-on-deck response,”
The Ebola epidemic has also killed more than 3000 persons who have been infected by the virus. The Ebola outbreak is an uncontrolled epidemic and needs extreme measures such as diagnosing cases, isolation of infected individuals to prevent further spread of the infection to healthy individuals, tracing their contacts and testing for any signs of the disease in those individuals.
It was reported earlier that the experimental vaccine will not be available till the middle of next year. Meanwhile WHO announced that it could take six to nine months to contain the current outbreak in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria, and that the outbreak could grow to 20,000 cases.