herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Ebola vaccine may be given to care workers

Thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines should be available in the coming months and could be given to healthcare workers and other people at high risk of the deadly disease, the World Health Organisation has said.

No vaccine has yet been proved to be safe or effective in humans, said Marie-Paule Kieny, assistant director-general at WHO, who spoke at a press conference in Geneva yesterday.

Testing must first be done to ensure they are not harmful to people, some of which has already begun, she said.

The Canadian government has already donated 800 vials of one vaccine, which it developed before licensing to NewLink Genetics Corp.

testing

Ms Kieny said the company is expected to produce several thousand more doses in the coming months.

By the beginning of next year there should be about 10,000 doses of another vaccine, developed by the US National Institutes of Health and GlaxoSmithKline, Ms Kieny said.

"This will not be a mass vaccination," she said.

"Health workers or people known to have had contact with an infected person could be given a vaccine as early as January as part of a bigger trial to test the shot's effectiveness."

hnews@herald.ie

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