The first human trial of Ebola vaccine is showing promise as it appears to have no dangerous side effects and produced immune response on the 20 volunteers injected with it.
In the human trial administered in National Institutes of Health Maryland, the 20 healthy adults who received the vaccine developed anti-Ebola antibodies and produced an immune-response.
Earlier, the experimental vaccine was administered to monkeys who were protected from the deadly virus.
Dr. Tony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said: “Based on these positive results from the first human trial of this candidate vaccine, we are continuing our accelerated plan for larger trials to determine if the vaccine is efficacious in preventing Ebola infection.”
The volunteer group was comprised of adults aged 18 to 50. According to the NIH, they administered a lower dose of the vaccine to 10 volunteers, while the rest received a higher dose.
They monitored the blood tests results of the volunteers two weeks and four weeks after the intramuscular injection of the vaccine.
The trial yielded positive results as all the 20 volunteers developed antibodies within four weeks after the vaccine was administered. Volunteers who received a higher dose developed higher levels of antibodies.
Researchers also found that many of the volunteers developed T-cells including CD8 T cells. Previous studies suggest that the production of T-cells on primates help protect them against Ebola virus infection.
There were also two volunteers who developed fever after receiving a higher dose of the vaccine.
In his interview with NBC News, Fauci explained: “That is not unexpected with some vaccines. In fact you get that with a lot of different vaccines.”
By January next year, the World Health Organization (WHO) is planning to immunise doctors, nurses, and health care workers working with Ebola patients since they are at high-risk. According to WHO, 377 health care workers have died because of the infection.