By Alexis R. Milan
Ebola vaccines tested on 4,000 people in Guinea have proven to be 100 percent effective in protecting patients from the deadly virus and could stop its spread help end the outbreak in West Africa and
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the trials conducted by an independent body of researchers have been very effective. They will continue over the next few months. The researchers published their findings in the British medical journal, The Lancet.
“This is an extremely promising development”, said Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization.
“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.”
While the vaccine up to now shows 100 percent efficacy in individuals, more conclusive evidence is needed on its capacity to protect populations through what is called “herd immunity”, the WHO said.
“The initial results are exciting and very promising”, Chan said. “If proven effective, this is going to be a game-changer, and it will change the management of the current Ebola outbreak and future outbreaks.”
The vaccine, once fully tested and finalized, may save thousands of lives including front-line health providers who come into close proximity with Ebola patients.
Just last week Belize received clinical care kits for Ebola patients through donations from the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) and the Republic of China/Taiwan as part of a larger regional effort to prepare for and control a potential Ebola outbreak.
In the event of an Ebola outbreak, the equipment can be quickly deployed to hospitals and other care facilities to protect medical personnel as they treat patients. Each kit contains personal protective items that meet the rigorous standards of international health organizations, including gowns, goggles, respirators, masks, gloves, biohazard bags, aprons, and other essential gear. According to international health experts, quick access to such equipment is essential to prevent the spread of the virus.