UN: WHO says two leading Ebola vaccines show 'acceptable safety'

New York, US (PANA) - The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that two promising Ebola vaccines appear safe and could soon be tested in West Africa, as the agency wrapped up an expert meeting in Geneva on Friday.

A UN statement, sent to PANA in New York, said the UN health agency had been meeting with researchers, regulators, vaccine developers and policy makers since Thursday, discussing vaccine access and financing, and reviewing the current status of clinical trials and plans for Phase II and Phase III efficacy trials.

It quoted WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan as saying that, participants at the meeting had given themselves tight deadlines and were moving ahead quickly.

"In fact, what you are doing is unprecedented: compressing into a matter of months work that normally takes 2 to 4 years, yet with no compromise of international standards of safety and efficacy," she said.

Also, Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO Assistant Director-General of Health Systems and Innovation, stated that, so far, the 2 Ebola vaccines that had already undergone the first phase of testing had an "acceptable safety profile".

The statement noted that, the third phase of testing – which consisted of giving the vaccine to healthy volunteers in affected areas was about to begin.

According to WHO, research teams had been set up and preparations had been put in place, including special refrigerators for Ebola vaccine tests, in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the three countries hardest hit by the current unprecedented outbreak.

Recent figures from WHO state that there were some 20,206 confirmed, probable or suspected cases of Ebola and 7,905 reported deaths.
-0- PANA AA/MA 9Jan2015

09 january 2015 20:21:11

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