News / Health

    Human Ebola Vaccine Trials to Begin

    Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Weeki
    X
    August 29, 2014 2:18 AM
    The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Watch related video report from VOA's Zlatica Hoke.
    Joe DeCapua

    U.S. health officials announced Thursday the launch of the first human testing of a vaccine to prevent Ebola. The vaccine candidate was co-developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - and the pharmaceutical company GSK (GlaxoSmithKline).

    Dr. Anthony Fauci says vaccine research has accelerated since the Ebola epidemic was first reported in West Africa last March.

    "We are announcing the opening of a small human safety study of an investigational Ebola vaccine candidate that will be tested here at the NIH," he said. "This is the first of several Phase One clinical trials of Ebola vaccine candidates that we are set to launch."

    Fauci is the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. He describes the West Africa Ebola outbreak as a “public health emergency that demands an all hands on deck response.”

    "We have accelerated the time line for testing experimental Ebola vaccines that we have been developing for several years," he said. "And after an expedited review of the candidate product and clinical trial design by the United States Food and Drug Administration we have the green light to begin."

    He says the trials will be based on three earlier versions of Ebola vaccine candidates. Those trials led to the vaccine that is now being studied. Next week, the first three volunteers will be enrolled in a study known as VRC207.

    "The trial aims to enroll 20 healthy adults - ages 18 to 50 years - at the NIH Clinical Research Center here in Bethesda, Maryland," he said. "The study will evaluate the experimental vaccine’s safety and whether it generates an immune response in healthy adults that - based on our animal studies - could predict effectiveness in preventing the acquisition of Ebola infection."

    Fauci says earlier studies of the experimental vaccine performed extremely well in protecting primates from Ebola infection.  The current vaccine candidate uses a chimpanzee cold virus. The virus carries a gene related to the surface protein of the Zaire and Sudan strains of the Ebola virus. The Zaire strain is blamed for the West Africa epidemic.

    "It is important to know that the Ebola gene contained in the investigational vaccine cannot cause a vaccinated individual to become infected with Ebola," he said. "The volunteers in the VRC207 trial will be divided into two groups to test first a lower and then a higher does of the vaccine.

    The vaccine will be administered through an injection in the arm. The trial is scheduled to last 48 weeks, but initial findings could be available by the end of this year.  

    In October, a second trial will begin in the U.S., Britain, Mali and The Gambia to test a vaccine candidate that contains genetic material from only one of the Ebola strains.

    Fauci says despite the vaccine research, precaution and prevention are the best defense right now against the disease.

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora