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Ebola vaccine study begins at Redemption Hospital

The Partnership for Research on Ebola Virus in Liberia or PREVAIL says it is carrying on the expansion of the Ebola vaccine study at the RedemptionHospital in New Kru Town on Bushrod Island.

PREVAIL announced Thursday, 6 April in Monrovia that the expansion of  the Ebola vaccine study at the Redemption Hospital began since Monday. PREVAIL Principal Investigator on the vaccine study Doctor Mark S. Kieh says the main objectives of the study are to know how safe the vaccine is, how effective it is and how long it could last to protect people.

The organization says the study will assess three different test vaccine strategies in an effort to find the most promising one that could prevent or quickly control future Ebola outbreak.

Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone are the three Mano River Union Countries that were worst affected during the Ebola crisis in 2014. Doctor Kieh told a regular press briefing at the Ministry of Information on Thursday that the study was intended to assess the safety and ability of each of the three Ebola vaccine strategies to stimulate an immune response to the virus.

Doctor Kieh said the study will also monitor the safety of the test vaccines in adults and carefully test their safety records in children, a population particularly vulnerable to Ebola.

The three vaccines in question include two real vaccines and one that is salt water, also called “placebo”. Doctor Kieh said people with fever, Ebola survivors, and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding were not eligible to join the study.

According to the PREVAIL Principal Vaccine Study Investigator, the second part of the study will evaluate all three vaccination strategies, including two additional prime-boost strategies involving the Merck vaccine.

“We have only enrolled four volunteers, this is because we want to start off slow to see how well the vaccine process work before increasing our pace”, Doctor Kieh said. He however said one thing PREVAIL is sure of is that there is no risk to participants of becoming infected with Ebola, as the vaccine contains only a protein of the virus, not the whole virus.

By Samuel P. Kamara-Editing by Winston W. Parley

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