Russia’s health minister Veronika Skovortsova said on February 15 that an Ebola vaccine developed by her country during the last 15 months has shown encouraging results and would undergo further testing in West Africa, according to a report posted on the Medical Xpress website.
“Phases 1 and 2 of testing were managed in Russia with volunteers and showed that the vaccine was very effective,” Skovortsova told reporters in Geneva. She said the vaccine––GamEvac-Combi––would be put to additional tests in Guinea.
The West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone have been hardest-hit by the worst-ever Ebola outbreak, which has killed more than 11,300 people since December 2013.
According to Skovortsova, the preliminary testing showed limited adverse effects in isolated cases, including headaches and slight body temperature rises. Russian officials who led the testing said the sequential injections led to a surge in antibody production among the trial subjects.
The World Health Organization responded that it had heard of the Russian vaccine but had not yet seen the study data. The WHO was hoping to study the Russian findings before giving an opinion on the new vaccine.
To date, no approved vaccine or treatment for Ebola exists, and the WHO has authorized the fast-track development of such drugs.
Source: Medical Xpress; February 15, 2016.