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Ebola vaccine protects people in West Africa

In Guinea trial, zero cases of virus occurred in people potentially exposed who received immediate shots

By
5:38pm, July 31, 2015
ebola vaccine

PROTECTIVE JAB  A study of more than 7,000 people in Guinea shows that an Ebola vaccine guards against the lethal virus.

The first large test of an Ebola vaccine in the field shows strong protection against the lethal virus. With the epidemic in West Africa now in retreat, the shot might hasten disease elimination in Guinea, which still has cases cropping up.

“This is a huge advance in the Ebola field,” says Thomas Geisbert, an immunologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. “It’s been 10 years, but we’re finally getting it into people.” In 2005, Geisbert and virologist Heinz Feldmann of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases developed the vaccine when they were working for the U.S. and Canadian governments, respectively (SN: 7/16/05, p. 45). The vaccine uses a live virus called vesicular stomatitis that causes only mild infection in humans. It contains an Ebola glycoprotein that cannot cause disease but does trigger immunity.

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