Ebola vaccines to be widely available within months

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WHO welcomes the donation by the Public Health Agency of Canada of 800 vials of one of the leading candidate Ebola vaccines, rVSV-ZEBOV. Photo: WHO/M. Missioneiro

Millions of doses of Ebola vaccines will be produced by the end of 2015, according to the World Health Organization, which says that hundreds of thousands of doses are expected to be ready in the first half of next year.

Clinical trials are currently underway for two of the most advanced potential vaccines, with the first results expected in December of this year. Trials will begin on at least five other vaccines in January 2015.

Dr Marie Paule Kieny, Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation at the World Health Organization, says that vaccines could be made available in affected countries in West Africa this December. However, she says it won't be known how effective the vaccines are until they're administered as the clinical trials they're being put through are only preliminary.

"They have begun already in the US, as you know, in the UK and in Mali and will begin shortly in Switzerland, Germany, Gabon and Kenya. And all these trials will test, primarily, safety and also dosing, which is the dose level, how much of this vaccine, this candidate vaccine, should be put in one dose for one person."

But Dr. Kieny says that any vaccines need to have the backing of local communities, which need to be fully aware of their potential benefits. She said that national governments, non-governmental organizations and international organizations need to help raise awareness amongst affected communities and the wider population.

Nicki Chadwick, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration: 1’40″

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