Trial results show vaccine provides high protection against Ebola

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Ebola vaccines. Photo: WHO/M. Missioneiro (file)

An experimental Ebola vaccine provides "high protection" against the deadly virus.

That's the message from the World Health Organization (WHO) following the publication this Friday of the final trial results for the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine in the medical journal The Lancet.

The trial was led by WHO, together with Guinea's Ministry of Health and other international partners.

Dianne Penn reports.

The vaccine is the first to prevent infection from one of the most lethal known infectious agents, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

It was studied in a trial last year in Guinea, one of three West African countries hit hard by an Ebola outbreak which began in 2013 and killed more than 11,000 people.

The trial was held in a coastal region of Guinea that was still experiencing Ebola cases.

More than 11,800 people took part, and nearly half received the vaccine.

WHO reported that no Ebola cases were recorded among this group 10 days or more after being inoculated.

Meanwhile, 23 cases were reported among those who did not receive the vaccine.

"While these compelling results come too late for those who lost their lives during West Africa's Ebola epidemic, they show that when the next Ebola outbreak hits, we will not be defenceless," said WHO's Dr Marie-Paule Kleny, the study's lead author.

The agency said further studies are ongoing, to gather data on whether the vaccine is safe for children and other vulnerable populations, such as people with HIV.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'15"

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