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WHO to begin vaccination trials in Guinea
March 15, 2015, 12:27 pm
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Guinea, one of the world's most affected countries by Ebola, will soon start to test the new VSV-EBOV vaccine for efficacy and effectiveness of its prevention potential. The phase III trial on Ebola Experimental Interventions is based on a framework of parameters developed by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee.

The criteria include acceptable safety profile, induction of appropriate immune responses, including neutralizing antibodies, and the timely availability of sufficient supplies of vaccine doses. The VSV-EBOV vaccine was developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

"The objectives of the trial are two-fold: to assess if the vaccine protects the contacts who were vaccinated and if vaccinating the contacts will create a buffer - or ring of protected individuals - around the index case to prevent further spread of the infection," said UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric. "If a vaccine is found effective, it will be the first preventive tool against Ebola in history," said WHO Director-General Margaret Chan.

According to the latest update on Ebola of WHO, 132 new confirmed cases had been reported in West Africa in a week, an increase from the previous week of 99 new cases. And in Guinea, the weekly number of confirmed cases had also increased.

WHO said the vaccination will take place in areas of Basse Guinee, the region that currently has the highest number of cases in Guinea. The agency also said the vaccines' manufacturers have assured that enough vaccine will be available in the coming months and that financial resources are in place to procure and make vaccines available in the affected countries.

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