Ebola Vaccine: Is It Safe?

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The outbreak of the Ebola virus in Africa (2013-2016) caused great concern among medical personnel. At that time, there was no vaccine available against this frequently fatal disease, and there was some concern that the virus may be spread to many different countries with populations highly susceptible to this disease. Fortunately, the disease outbreak (approximately 28,000 infected with 11,000 deaths) was eventually contained without causing a pandemic. However, almost immediately, scientists began to explore ways to develop an effective vaccine to protect humans from this virus. In the past, many vaccines have been developed that utilize a modified version of the causative organism to allow humans to develop an immune response that is protective against the disease; but with many organisms, this has been unsuccessful and sometimes even dangerous for the recipient of an experimental vaccine. It is not surprising that the question is asked about any new experimental Ebola vaccine...Is it safe?

Types of Ebola vaccines

There are a number vaccines that are being tested experimentally in an effort to produce a safe and effective vaccine for use in humans. There are seven vaccines that utilize a "vectored glycoprotein" antigen from Ebola viruses that has been placed into a virus that will introduce it to the immune system without the ability to cause Ebola, since there are no Ebola replication genes in the glycoprotein, which is a protein made by the virus. There is one vaccine that uses a replication-defective Ebola virus (EBOV∆VP30) further treated with hydrogen peroxide to make sure it is unable to replicate. All of the vaccine researchers suggest their vaccines are safe to use. However, most vaccines are still going through animal or clinical trials to prove safety and efficacy. In December 2016, the first report of a large vaccine trial that showed safety and effective immunity against the Zaire strain of Ebola in humans during an outbreak of this disease, rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine, was published.

Ebola Vaccine: Is It Safe? Resources

Read patient comments on Ebola Virus Disease - Prevention

Doctor written main article on Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever (Ebola HF)

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/13/2017

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