The National Institutes of Health (NIS) has revealed that the success of an Ebola vaccine on monkeys has prompted its test on humans. The US government and pharmaceutical companies have taken up the challenge of developing a vaccine for the Ebola virus after the deadly virus has killed almost 2,000 people within months in West Africa. The NIS in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline and the World Health Organization developed an Ebola vaccine that is currently being tested on humans after it proved effective and successful in monkeys.
This is the first time a vaccine would be developed for the deadly Ebola virus, and the first time it would be tested on humans after some level of success with monkeys. But GlaxoSmithKline states that it might take some time before the vaccine drug becomes available for general use, and this is not unconnected with the fact that extensive tests and clinical proofs must be obtained for certifications.
GlaxoSmithKline states that “clinical development for a new vaccine is a long, complex process, often lasting 10 or more years. It is difficult to accelerate this process because of the many important steps that a candidate vaccine must go through to ensure that it is safe and effective.” However, health authorities are struggling to ensure that the vaccine is available for general use in as much a time as possible with a view to combating the Ebola epidemic.
The only downside to the new Ebola vaccine is the fact that it its effects start to wear off after about 10 months. According to the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, “the good part of this vaccine is that at five weeks or earlier you get full protection. The sobering news is the durability isn’t great, but you give a boost, a second shot, you make it really durable.”