Why the Ebola Vaccine Won’t Be Administered in Africa

Friday, August 8, 2014

The earliest the world can expect a vaccine to curb spreading of Ebola in West Africa is about a year away, scientists say. And, even if the vaccine passes the initial phase of testing in the U.S., it is unclear how effective it will be overseas.

“A U.S. trial will not necessarily predict what will happen in Africa,” says Hildegund Ertl, the director of the Wistar Institute Vaccine Center. For reasons not entirely understood, Africans have different antibodies in their systems than Americans. Because antibodies influence how the body receives a vaccine, a treatment showing promise in a U.S. trial could still fail to thwart the outbreak in Africa, which has killed almost 900 people to date.

There are currently “three or four different vaccine candidates, all still in preclinical trials,” says Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID). The earliest one slated for clinical trials is yet unnamed, but testing is expected to begin in September, pending approval from the Food and Dru

Source: Newsweek (link opens in a new window)

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