The National Institutes of Health has announced that it will begin testing a new Ebola vaccine next week after the program was green-lighted by the FDA, over growing anxiety regarding the widening spread of the deadly disease in several West African nations. The test will be the first of its kind in humans and will initially be given to 3 three “healthy” volunteers to see if they suffer any adverse effects. If pronounced safe, it will then be administered to a second small group, aged 18-50, to see if it produces a strong immune response to the Ebola virus.
“The vaccine will be injected in the deltoid muscle of their arm, first in a lower dose, then later in a higher dose after the safety of the vaccine has been determined,” explained Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who went on to stated that “All participants will be closely monitored for side effects,” stated Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
The vaccine will also be tested on other healthy volunteers in the UK, as well as the African nations of Mali and Gambia, However the NIH reports that it is not (currently) possible for trials to be done in the 4 countries most effected by the outbreak be done in the 4 countries affected by the recent outbreak, “because the existing health care infrastructure wouldn't support them.” These are Nigeria, Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. There was no mention of the Democratic of the Congo, where 23 people were recently diagnosed with Ebola contracted from a (now deceased) pregnant woman after she ate infected bush meat. 13 of those who came in contact with her have died.
Although the vaccine performed very well in previous trials involving chimpanzees, Fauci noted that it was too soon to predict how it will translate in human patients, although researchers remain optimistic for the time being.