Multiple health agencies will be launching the Phase III trial for the Ebola vaccine, VSV-EBOV, in Guinea on Saturday, according to the World Health Organization.
According to reports, the initial clinical trials in late 2014 showed promising results and now will be tested for efficacy and effectiveness to prevent Ebola.
“We have worked hard to reach this point,” said WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan. “There has been massive mobilization on the part of the affected countries and all partners to accelerate the development and availability of proven interventions. If a vaccine is found effective, it will be the first preventive tool against Ebola in history.”
Vaccination will take place in areas of Basse Guinée, the region that currently has the highest number of cases in the country. The trial strategy adopted will be “ring vaccination”, based on the approach used to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s. This involves the identification of a newly diagnosed Ebola case – the “index case” – and the tracing of all his/her contacts. The contacts are vaccinated if they give their consent.
VSV-EBOV was developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
In the US, the original petition in the lawsuit against Texas Health Resources was filed this week by “Ebola nurse”, Nina Pham in Dallas County District Court.
The lawsuit alleges that Pham’s Ebola infection was a direct result of the “gross negligence” of her employer, Texas Health Resources.
The latest Ebola case count from the three countries with widespread and intense transmission shows that there have been over 23 900 reported confirmed, probable, and suspected cases cases of EVD in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with over 9800 reported deaths (outcomes for many cases are unknown). A total of 51 new confirmed cases were reported in Guinea, 0 in Liberia, and 81 in Sierra Leone in the 7 days to 1 March.