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New Ebola vaccine

A vaccine developed by Merck is the first shown to be highly effective in preventing human infection with Ebola, according to final results from a clinical trial.

Among 5,837 people who received the rVSV-EBOV vaccine in the trial in Guinea in 2015, no Ebola cases were recorded 10 days or more after vaccination, signalling 100 per cent protection.

More than 11,300 people died in West Africa’s 2013-2016 epidemic of the virus, which causes hemorrhagic fever.

“When the next Ebola outbreak hits, we will not be defenseless,” said Marie-Paule Kieny, a World Health Organization (WHO) assistant director-general and one of the lead researchers in the trial.

Merck’s rVSV-EBOV has already been used in Sierra Leone to contain a flare-up there. (Reuters)