Two New Ebola Vaccines Pass Important Early Test, Researchers Say
A study was conducted on ten macaques, or monkeys, to test two new Ebola vaccines. Eight of the monkeys were vaccinated, while the remainder were used as controls. Ebola expert, Thomas W. Geisbert, said that the eight monkeys that were vaccinated displayed no sign of side effects from the vaccine. Post vaccination, the ten monkeys were immunized with the Ebola virus from the recent outbreak. Within a week, the unvaccinated monkeys (the control) died, while the vaccinated monkeys remain well.
The vaccines used in this study have not been tested in humans yet. The monkeys were used because animals are more closely related to humans than other lab animals. This study concluded that the two new Ebola vaccines injected in the monkeys protected them against being infected from the virus. To prevent being affected by Ebola, only one dose of the vaccination is needed.
Compared to an older vaccine used, the two new ones are improved versions. The previous vaccine used caused disagreeable side effects such as fever and pain in joints and muscles, but these side effects did not stop this vaccine from being used. However, the side effects could cause complications during an Ebola outbreak because they are similar to early symptoms of the disease. Hence patients who have a fever must be tested or quarantined post vaccination to detect an infection from the virus, or a reaction to the shot.
As we all know, Ebola is an awfully dangerous disease that no one wants to be infected by. Using the monkeys was a great way to decipher the effectiveness of the vaccines. I know a lot of people are not very fond of using animals as “guinea pigs” for studies such as these, but the outcome(s) are extremely beneficial. From personal experience, I know and understand that animals’ anatomy are closely related to humans. The Ebola outbreak has been horrendous over the past year and I am delighted that two new vaccines were discovered.