Friday, April 10, 2015

Blog #8: Two New Ebola Vaccines Pass Important Early Tests

Two new Ebola Vaccines have passed several tests protecting monkeys from this deadly strain that is responsible for this outbreak.  Only one dose was needed for protection and no side effects were noticed.  Ebola expert Thomas Geisbert from the University of Texas Medical Branch has stated that these vaccines have not been tested in humans yet.  Starting early this summer they will start trials of healthy volunteers to be given this vaccine for further testing.  On the twenty eighth day after the vaccine was given the monkeys were injected with the Ebola virus from the current outbreak.  The monkeys that received the vaccine did not have any side effects and survived, whereas the monkeys that were not given the vaccine died within a week from the virus Ebola.  These two new vaccines are improved versions of the two older ones that caused unpleasant side effects such as fever and pain in joints and muscles.  The side effects from this vaccine can pose a problem during an outbreak because they imitate early symptoms of Ebola. Patients that get a fever after they have been injected with the vaccine would have to be tested or put into quarantine until it can be determined if they are having a reaction to the shot or actually have the disease.

I think it is great that two more vaccines are being tested and have been found to make a difference in preventing this horrible disease.  I am also grateful that the company has received 55 million dollars to continue research for Ebola vaccines.  Using monkeys to test this vaccine is a wonderful idea to see how it affects human since our bodies are similar.  With this testing going on I think that these vaccines will start being used soon so this outbreak can end.

Kelsey Bryant

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