Hundreds of thousands of Ebola vaccines to be ready in 2015: WHO

Geneva: Assistant Director-General of World Health Organisation (WHO) Marie-Paule Kieny Friday said hundreds of thousands of Ebola vaccines might be ready for use in the first half of 2015 to turn the tide against the deadly epidemic.

On Thursday, WHO convened a meeting of government representatives, vaccine manufacturers, funding agencies and civil society to discuss how to quicken the testing and deployment of promising vaccines in sufficient numbers to use in the field in 2015.

"Phase 1 of clinical trials of two most advanced vaccines have been started, the result of these trials will be available in December 2014," Kieny told a press conference at WHO's headquarters in Geneva.

Kieny said the trials of the two vaccines, cAd3-ZEBOV and rVSV-ZEBOV, developed by GlaxoSmithKline and Public Health Agency of Canada respectively, have begun in Britain, the US and Mali, and will shortly begin in Switzerland, Germany, Gabon and Kenya, Xinhua reported.

She noted that at least five more vaccines are following up closely, which will be in the clinic in the first month of 2015. She said pharmaceutical companies that are developing the vaccines are committed to increasing the production capacity to millions of doses in 2015, with hundreds of thousands ready in the first half of next year.

"To make this a reality, regulatory authorities in countries where vaccines are being manufactured and in Africa will need to work closely with manufacturers, to extremely shorten timelines and to find ways to overcome the number of furthers," she added. "Vaccines are not a magic bullet, but when ready they may be a good part of the effort to turn the tide against the epidemic," she said.

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