If preliminary results of the vaccine trial underway in Guinea are confirmed, it "is going to be a game-changer," said Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization. Interim analysis of the clinical trial, published in The Lancet medical journal, indicates a 100% efficacy rate. Further work and more conclusive evidence is needed, and the trial continues.
"This is an extremely promising development," Dr Chan said. "The credit goes to the Guinean Government, the people living in the communities, and our partners in this project. An effective vaccine will be another very important tool for both current and future Ebola outbreaks."
IDRC manages the Canadian partnership that is collaborating on the WHO-coordinated trial of the VSV-EBOV vaccine, which was originally developed in Canada. In March 2015, IDRC, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, and the Public Health Agency of Canada announced their joint support for the effort to test a preventive Ebola vaccine in Guinea, one of the three most-affected West African countries.
The Canadian partnership has supported monitoring and safety assurance of the clinical trial, helped build the capacity of West African researchers conducting the work on the ground, and is supporting the peer review of trial results by Canadian scientists.
Almost 28,000 cases of Ebola have been reported in the worst-ever outbreak of the deadly virus, mostly in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Of those, more than 11,000 people have died.