Canadian scientists made a major breakthrough this week in the fight against Ebola.
Results from trial of a vaccine developed by scientists at the Public Health Agency of Canada suggest we could soon be on the verge of eradicating the deadly virus. While no treatment or cure exists, the vaccine provided 100 per cent protection in a field trial in Guinea, one of the country’s most affected by the West African outbreak.
This is big news – the most promising medical development so far in the ongoing race to shut down Ebola,” says Benjamin Neuman, a virologist with the University of Reading.
The vaccine, called VSV-ZEBOV, was also funded in part by the drug firm Merck, the World Health Organization, and the governments of Canada, Norway, and Guinea.
Over 4,000 high-risk people were injected with the vaccine shortly after someone close to them fell ill with severe fever. A paper on the study concluded “no vaccinee developed symptoms more than six days after vaccination, irrespective of whether vaccination was immediate or delayed.”
Equally encouraging is that no significant backing from big pharma was necessary for the breakthrough, validating the effectiveness of government-funded medical research.
Trials will continue in the coming weeks while high-risk individuals will be vaccinated immediately.