Leading vaccines for Ebola show real promise

Story highlights

  • Leading vaccines for Ebola virus show early promise
  • Tests of the two vaccines should soon begin in healthy volunteers in Africa
  • There have been 19,340 cases with 7,518 deaths so far in the countries most impacted by the epidemic according to WHO report

(CNN)The leading vaccines for Ebola will soon be tested in healthy volunteers in Africa, according to the World Health Organization.

At a press conference Friday, Marie-Paule Kieny, who leads the WHO Ebola vaccine work, suggested there has been real promise offered from initial tests of two of the vaccines being studied. One comes from Merck and NewLink and the other is licensed by GlaxoSmithKline.
Both vaccines have "an acceptable safety profile" meaning there are no adverse affects that would keep it from being tested in a broader population.
    Trials of the vaccines in Africa should start soon. Health care workers will be among some of the first volunteers to be a part of this next stage of the test.
    Earlier the trial of the vaccine made by Merck and NewLink were stopped in December after some of the volunteers in the trial had "transient mild" joint pain. After investigating that side effect, scientists concluded it was not a big enough issue to stop the development of the vaccine. No similar side effects were noted in the other vaccine trial.
    There are other Ebola vaccines being tested by companies in the United States and in Russia.
    While the Ebola epidemic seems to be slowing, people are still dying infections continue. To date, there have been 19,340 cases with 7,518 deaths in the countries most impacted by the epidemic, according to the latest WHO report.