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Initial results show Ebola vaccine ‘highly effective’ – WHO

Initial results from an Ebola vaccine trial in Guinea show that the experimental vaccine is "highly effective" against Ebola, the World Health Organization announced on Friday, saying that the world is "on the verge" of an effective vaccine against the deadly virus.

The initial findings show that the vaccine has a 100% efficacy in individuals, though more conclusive evidence is needed on its capacity to protect populations through so-called 'herd immunity.' The VSV-EBOV trial began in March and, to date, more than 4,000 close contacts of nearly 100 Ebola patients have voluntarily participated in the trial.

“This is an extremely promising development,” said Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization. “The credit goes to the Guinean Government, the people living in the communities and our partners in this project. An effective vaccine will be another very important tool for both current and future Ebola outbreaks.”

Because of the success of the trial, Guinean authorities have decided to extend the trial to anyone at risk. In addition, the trial will now include 13 to 17-year-olds and possibly 6 to 12-year-olds.

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