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West Africans Hail Apparent Ebola Vaccine Breakthrough

FILE - A health worker prepares to inject a man with an Ebola vaccine in Conakry, Guinea, March 7, 2015.

News on Friday that early tests of a vaccine against Ebola has shown a 100 percent success rate was men with joy in Africa — hardest hit by the virus.

“This is a lasting solution to dealing with the Ebola crisis in the region and the entire global public health community,” said Tolbert Nyensuah, Liberia’s Deputy Health Minister. “We can now vaccinate the healthcare workers who compared to the general population bear the greatest risk of dying from this virus.”

Sakoba Keita, Guinea's national coordinator in the fight against the disease, says God answered his prayers.

“Finally we have something effective not only to stop the Ebola epidemic but also that humanity and our population can use to avoid more people dying,” he said. “This is great for Guinea and its neighbors that a solution has finally been found…we think that strategy will really help in curtailing the epidemic.”

With the breakthrough, Keita hopes the international community will make the vaccine available as soon as possible. He said that his country's second wish is that American and European regulatory authorities work to approve the vaccine and authorize larger production so we can vaccinate the most people.

The World Health Organization is helping coordinate efforts to find vaccines against Ebola, working with several European countries, Canada, the United States, aid agencies like Doctors Without Borders and pharmaceutical companies, such as Merk and GSK.

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    Mariama Diallo

    Mariama Diallo is a senior reporter covering national and world affairs for Voice of America in multiple languages. She was recently the VOA acting bureau chief for the agency's West Africa office.