Human trials of Ebola vaccine set to start

Human trials of Ebola vaccine set to start
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Human trials of new Ebola vaccine set to start. The vaccine can hopefully prevent multiple species of the disease.

The vaccine is based on technology similar to that used to produce the Oxford coronavirus jab. It is hoped that using this technology will have many benefits. The Ebola virus causes Ebola haemorrhagic fever.

It is estimated that in West Africa the 2014-16 outbreak caused the death of over 11,000 people. An outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that ended in 2020 is thought to have killed over 2000 people.


Vaccines for Ebola are already available but they only fight one species of the virus. There are four species of Ebola. The existing vaccines only fight the Zaire species.

The Zaire species has caused many outbreaks and has a shocking mortality rate estimated to be between 70 per cent and 90 per cent.

Dr Daniel Jenkin is the principal investigator of the trial at the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford. He commented on the different species of Ebola and said: “There are three other important species of Ebola virus out there that these vaccines aren’t approved to prevent.”

The Sudan species of the virus is not as lethal as the Zaire form, but it has a mortality rate of around 50 per cent. According to Jenkin, the Sudan species has caused the second-largest amount of outbreaks.

The Oxford University researchers have created a vaccine that hopes to protect against both the Zaire and Sudan species. They are set to start human trials imminently.

Jenkin commented: “The two species that we’re targeting in this vaccine have caused almost all of the outbreaks and deaths.”

Commenting on the benefit of using similar technology to the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine Jenkin explained: “[The Covid jab] is now being manufactured at 20 different manufacturing sites, including in middle income countries,”

“Having that proof of concept that a similar vaccine can be manufactured on an incredibly large scale is also a very big advantage.”

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Alex Glenn is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News. Formerly she worked in the NHS for 15 years until relocating to Spain in 2018. She loves the Spanish lifestyle, language and culture and spent several years learning Spanish before moving to Spain for a better quality of life. She has made her home in the mountains in Almeria, where she loves being part of a rural community that has a mix of both expats and Spanish residents. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, reading and exploring the area where she lives.


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