The first Ebola vaccine trial has begun in Africa under the supervision of the University of Maryland.
“This is just the critical first step in a series of additional clinical trials that will have to be carried out to fully evaluate the promising vaccine,” Samba Sow, Director of Mali’s vaccine development center, told U.S. based network, NBC.
“However, if it is eventually shown to work and if this information can be generated fast enough, it could become a public health tool to bring the current, and future, Ebola virus disease epidemics under control.” The first Africa based trial is being conducted in Mali.
The trial in Mali was expedited given the threat posed by the Ebola epidemic in nearby countries such as Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
University of Maryland School of Medicine official Dr. Myron Levine said the latest trial could “alter the dynamic of the epidemic” if it’s successful.
“This research will give us crucial information about whether the vaccine is safe, well tolerated and capable of stimulating adequate immune responses in the highest priority target population, health care workers in West Africa,” Levine told NBC.
Trials for other potential Ebola vaccines are also taking place in the United Kingdom and Bethesda, Md., where the NIH is located.