What Everyone Needs to Know About The Experimental Ebola Vaccine



Dr. Gary Kobinger, chief of special pathogens at the Public Health Agency of #Canada, and Heritage Minister Shelly Glover at a news conference yesterday answered some questions about the VSV-EBOV vaccine.

About 1000 doses of the vaccine will soon get to West African countries affected by the #Ebola virus. A small amount of the vaccine will remain behind, in the event it is needed for "compassionate use", CTVNews says.

The vaccine was co-developed by scientists at the National Microbiology Lab and is owned by the federal government of the U.S. who has the rights to further develop the product for human use.

How does it work?

Kobinger said the scientists who are developing the vaccine do not yet fully understand the vaccine's precise mechanism, but there are a number of hypotheses they are studying.

One hypothesis is that the "extremely potent" vaccine stimulates an immune response to protect the individual against the virus in a sort of "race," he said.

In this model, the individual will be protected if their immune response develops fast enough and before the virus grows.

The second hypothesis being considered is based off of a model in which the vaccine "competes" with the virus for target cells, which replicate the virus.

If we don't fully understand it, is it safe?

The scientists behind VSV-EBOV have been researching its safety for about a year now.

The vaccine has never been tested in humans in the context of safety trials, however there was one individual who received the vaccine after lab exposure to the virus in Germany, he said.

That person did not go on to develop Ebola, and did not experience any known severe adverse events, Kobinger said.

He added that the vaccine has been tested in animals, and researchers have not recorded any serious adverse events from those animal trials.


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