The testing of large scale trials of two vaccines have been initiated in Liberia. As per the sources, the experimental based vaccines were taken to an unknown location under strict security in West Africa.
Approximately 30,000 workers along with front line health care workers are expected to be given the experimental vaccines. As far as the current figures are concerned, more than 8,500 people have died due to Ebola epidemic in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Liberia has been hit the worse, since more than 3,600 people have died due to Ebola, though the total number of cases are more than 22,000.
The good news is that the number of Ebola patients is gradually lessening in Liberia, with only four cases confirmed last week. It also appears as the outbreak has entered its last phase, as its steadily wiping away.
Monday was the first day to begin trials for experimental based vaccine for Ebola virus. The vaccine carries mild and harmless remains of Ebola virus which will be injected to 12 volunteers. The basic idea is to have the human body develop an immune system against the life threatening Ebola virus. The vaccination side effects may involve pain, redness, fever, headache, mouth sores and loss of apetite. Though, its still ambiguous if the trial based vaccination would be able to provide protection against Ebola virus.
If the results would become positive, the two pharmaceutical companies behind the two vaccines are expecting that international community would demand more quantity, depending how vaccines perform.
As per Mr. Kennedy, a senior Liberian scientist, there are no health related issues involved in getting the vaccine. The strain that has been inserted in the vaccine is a weak one, and do not have the ability to cause Ebola to any normal human being. However, the body of a healthy person should be able to develop an immune system against that specific strain. Local nurses and health care officials are being trained on how to monitor volunteers who have been injected with the vaccination.
In addition, the health officials in Liberia state that they do not have any hopes that vaccines would make a significant difference in the current epidemic. As per Liberian Health Minister, Mr. Tolbert, the measures which are being taken will end this outbreak.
Researchers are also concerned with the fact that due to the lesser number of Ebola effected patients, the statistical figures may not be able to confirm whether the vaccine shots were successful or not.
Some of the basic facts about Ebola Virus are as follows:
- Symptoms may involve fever, bleeding and nervous system impairment
- Ebola virus is usually spread by body fluids such as saliva and blood
- The quarantine period starts from 2 to 21 days.
- There is no cure to this disease, the experimental vaccines are currently being tested.
- One of the virus host are Fruit bats in Africa