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Results Appear Promising for Experimental Ebola Vaccine

Vaccine works against Zaire strain of Ebola currently circulating in West Africa

THURSDAY, Jan. 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Early results suggest an experimental Ebola vaccine triggers an immune response and is safe to use. The findings were published online Jan. 28 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The Oxford University trial included 60 healthy volunteers who were monitored for 28 days after receiving three different doses of the vaccine. The vaccine was found to be immunogenic at the doses tested. The volunteers will continue to be monitored for six months.

"The vaccine was well tolerated. Its safety profile is pretty much as we had hoped," clinical trial leader Adrian Hill, D.M, said in a university news release. "People typically experienced mild symptoms that lasted for one or maybe two days, such as pain or reddening at the injection site, and occasionally people felt feverish," Hill said. "It's very similar to what has been seen in previous studies with this general type of vaccine."

This vaccine works against the Zaire strain of Ebola currently circulating in West Africa. It doesn't contain infectious Ebola virus material, so it cannot cause Ebola infection in people who receive it. The vaccine is being developed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and GlaxoSmithKline. The first doses of the vaccine for use in large clinical trials in West Africa have been delivered to Liberia.

The study was funded in part by the Wellcome Trust; the vaccine was provided by GlaxoSmithKline.

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