Ebola vaccine trials enter Phase II

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Ebola vaccine trials enter Phase II

Volunteers in Britain and France have begun trialling new Ebola vaccines.

The so-called ‘prime-boost’ immunisations have been developed in response to vast outbreaks of the deadly virus in West Africa. They form Phase II of the trials.

Colin Prickett is one of the group testing the vaccines at Oxford University, in England.

“It’s nice to be able to do something that contributes to the welfare of other people. This vaccine, when developed, will save many lives and it’s quite something, it’s quite a privilege to be involved in that, even in a small way,” he enthused.

Researchers working on the vaccines stress the immunisations contain no live Ebola virus. Instead, safe viruses are genetically modified to contain just a part of the infection, which will then stimulate the body’s immune system.

A second trial will be carried out in Senegal.

At least 11,200 people have died of the virus in West Africa.

Declared Ebola-free in May, Liberia confirmed a sixth new case in the week commencing July 13, sparking fears of a fresh wave of the outbreak.

The World Health Organization reports there are currently 30 confirmed cases of the virus in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.