Recently, there was a trial conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in Guinea for rVSV-ZEBOV, a trial vaccine for Ebola, which showed a 100-percent protection rate. An estimate of 5,837 individuals were given the vaccine, none contracted the virus 10 days or more after receiving the vaccination. In contrast to the 23 Ebola cases that developed in the control group that is not vaccinated during the same period, according to reports.

The development of the vaccine comes after the huge Ebola outbreak in West Africa. It is one of nine vaccines listed by WHO that are currently on clinical trial. Due to the great success of rVSV-ZEBOV, the WHO said that the vaccine could be available for mass use come 2018.

With financial backing from GAVI, a public private vaccine alliance, the pharmaceutical producer Merck committed to making 300,000 doses of the vaccine available for emergency use should a future outbreak occur while the vaccine is awaiting approval.

The quick response of the international community in developing and testing trial vaccines demonstrates the potential to streamline and decrease the response time for lessen the severity of future epidemics.

The WHO also hopes that the rVSV-ZEBOV trial will serve as a model for handling future global outbreaks, changing the response to epidemics from an approach that has been reactionary to one that is preventative. (DeMarco et al., 2017)

Source: DeMarco, J., Payne, E., Wittet, A., Barr, K., Ahern, A., Furbank, L., Hayes, M., Eisenstadt, A. and Nierenberg, D. (2017) Successful Ebola vaccine could shape the future of epidemic prevention – food tank. Available at: https://foodtank.com/news/2017/02/ebola-vaccine-future-of-epidemic-prevention/ (Accessed: 5 February 2017).

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