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Ebola Vaccine Fast-Tracked After Proven 100 Percent Effective in Trials
Scientists who are battling the advance of Ebola just enjoyed a major victory: A vaccine that has a 100 percent success rate has just been fast-tracked by the Food and Drug Administration. The nearly 6,000 people who were given the ebola vaccine in Guinea, where the disease has become an epidemic, have not suffered from the disease since vaccination. There were cases, however, of Ebola among those who participated in the study but were not vaccinated.
While so many people have already lost their lives to this deadly disease, it’s safe to say that prevention efforts will not leave experts defenseless against the disease any longer. If deployed in a large way, this can potentially halt the spread of the deadly disease.
These new results, combined with what experts learn from those who succumb to the disease as well as therapeutic options for those who are suffering from it will guarantee that people will be covered should the disease spring up somewhere again.
It doesn’t look like there will be another major Ebola outbreak anytime soon, but should there be one again, experts are confident that they can better take it on now with the tools that they have available to them.
The Deadliness of the Disease
Ebola has killed nearly 12,000 people in Guinea as well as nearby Sierra Leone in the course of three years, making it the worst outbreak of the disease since it was discovered in the 70s.
The outbreak prompted international panic, with flight to and from the hot zone halted entirely. It also prompted experts to desperately try to come up with a vaccine to prevent any further outbreaks in the future.
Merck, the company that created the ebola vaccine, did so on an emergency basis in order to see effectiveness in human trials. Since the success of the ebola vaccine, the FDA has granted the vaccine breakthrough therapy status, which will fast track the process of getting it approved and in full use going into the future.
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While the vaccine is being developed and prepared for widespread use, there has been an international response to the disease, with international aid groups finally declaring victory over the disease in Liberi after a number of recurrences prevented them from doing so.
One particular challenge is that of reignition of the virus through sexual transmission, as the virus can remain in semen for months. Officials have been monitoring male survivors of the disease, and almost none have tested positive for the disease, which is very good news for agencies trying to stamp Ebola out.
Even with all of these positive developments, we’re still seeing the possibility of the disease recurring again since the host of the disease (most likely a bat) is still in the area.
The nations in West Africa that were affected by this latest outbreak will remain on the list of at-risk nations, However, it’s assured that they have better infrastructure in place now than what they had before.
A Bad Part of History
Considering just how recent the last outbreak was as well as the outbreak before that one, Liberians and others are looking at all of this as a bad part of their history, on the same level as the civil war that broke out years ago.
The outbreak has prompted companies and governments to take a second look at their policies so as to reduce risk of another breakout.
The Ebola outbreak has been deadly and dangerous, but all of that is set to change with the new vaccine that has been developed. It offers a promising results into the future.
First Ebola Vaccine Likely To Stop Next Outbreak
There was not much that people could do when the Ebola outbreak occurred in West Africa in 2014. The virus was first discovered in 1976. There was no vaccine or treatment for the Ebola virus. As a result of this, 11,000 people died. Thirty thousand people were infected with the virus. The good news is that an outbreak like this is not likely to occur in the future. An Ebola vaccine will hit the market soon.
Ira Longini is a biostatistician who works for the University Of Florida. She stated that clinical trials have shown that the vaccine is nearly 100 percent effective. However, it is important to note that there is no drug or vaccine that is perfect. They also stated that the Ebola vaccine needs to be tested on more people in order to determine how effective it is. The more people are tested, the less effective the vaccine will be. It is estimated that the Ebola vaccine will be anywhere from 70 to 100 percent effective.
This is more effective than the flu vaccine, which is about 50 percent effective. Not only is this vaccine effective, but it works very fast. In fact, it takes about four to five days to be effective. It works best if it is given to a person who has been exposed to Ebola but has not developed the condition yet.
In 2015, 4,000 people in Guinea were tested. These people were at an increased risk for developing Ebola because they had been exposed to the virus. However, when they received the vaccine, they were fully-protected. No one developed the virus.
Neither the Food And Drug Administration or the World Health Organization has approved the vaccine. It is estimated that the vaccine will be approved sometime in 2018. Dr. Anthony Fraud works for the National Institutes Of Health. He stated that there are many unanswered questions about the vaccine.
He stated that no one knows how durable the vaccine is. He also stated that no one knows how long the effects of the vaccine will last. However, it is clear that the vaccine will offer short-term protection. There are only 300,000 doses of the vaccine available. Five million dollars have been spent on the vaccine.
It typically takes several years to test a vaccine. However, the Ebola vaccine was tested and developed in just two years. Swati Gupta works for Merck. He stated that the vaccine is a tremendous development. He also stated that it is amazing that so many companies have come together for a common goal.
Because the outbreak in West Africa was so severe, healthcare workers wanted to everything that they could to prevent another outbreak from occurring. Academic institutions and the government are known for having their own agendas. However, they were able to put their differences aside and develop a vaccine.
Jeremy Farrar is the director of Welcome Trust. He stated that if this vaccine would have been developed much earlier, then thousands of lives could have been saved. He stated that it is important to make promising vaccines, drugs and diagnostic tests for the future in order to prevent outbreaks in the future. He also hopes that the promising trials for the Ebola vaccine will serve as a success story.
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