February 26, 2015 – Ebola Vaccines
Anchor lead: At least two vaccines are being tested against Ebola virus infection, Elizabeth Tracey reports
In record time, two vaccines are currently being tested in Africa against Ebola virus infection, and Mike Klag, dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says it’s not a moment too soon for residents of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Klag: There’s a new vaccine trial that’s starting in Africa in those three most affected countries. Scientists are testing two vaccines. The idea of course as with any vaccine is to present some antigen that tricks the immune system into creating immunity against the entire virus. There’s been some concern about the decreasing number of cases and will we be able to test the vaccine? Unfortunately the latest data suggest that this epidemic is far from over and is continuing to rise especially in Sierra Leone. :30
Klag says preliminary data in monkeys are very promising so hopes are high, but public health officials are still betting on isolation of cases and changes in social practices to reduce infection risk. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.