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10 American Participants Injected with Experimental Ebola Vaccine

Update Date: Sep 17, 2014 09:28 AM EDT
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The first two human trials for GlaxoSmithKline's experimental Ebola vaccine have started, according to health officials from the United States and the United Kingdom.

Within the U.S., the director of the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci reported that 10 out of 20 healthy volunteers were vaccinated. So far, there have been no severe adverse outcomes.

"So far 10 of the 20 volunteers have been vaccinated, and thus far there have been no red flags," Fauci stated according to the Washington Post.

This Phase I trial aims to find evidence that the vaccine can be safe and effective for humans. The trial is being conducted at the NIH facility located in Bethesda, MD.

Officials tied to the second trial held within the UK reported that they have injected one healthy volunteer with the vaccine on Wednesday. The participant has not experienced any adverse side effects. The trial, which is led by a team at Oxford University, will include a total of 60 participants. This trial will look for two main results, which are whether or not the vaccine can trigger a good immune response to the virus and if it can do so with only a few side effects.

Researchers from both countries hope that the testing can be finished by the end of this year so that the vaccines can be immediately deployed as an emergency option. GlaxoSmithKline announced that it would produce up to around 10,000 doses at the same time as the trial in the event that the results are positive.

"This is a remarkable example of how quickly a new vaccine can be progressed into the clinic, using international co-operation," lead investigator of the trial, Professor Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute in Oxford, said according to BBC News.

GlaxoSmithKline worked with the NIH to create this vaccine, which was based on a cold virus found in chimpanzees known as chimp adenovirus type 3. The chimp adenovirus type 3 is being used to carry two strains of Ebola, Sudan and Zaire. The Zaire strain is fueling the current outbreak in West Africa that is affecting five nations.

The most recent numbers calculated by the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the outbreak has affected almost 5,000 people and has killed around 2,500. The outbreak is occurring in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria and Senegal.

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