Updated 05:22 PM EDT, Wed, Oct 27, 2021

Ebola Virus Outbreak 2014 News & Update: Vaccine Coming to WHO for Testing

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Recently, one of the discoverers of the Ebola virus, Peter Piot, expressed that only a vaccine can stop the deadly epidemic -- in the most hopeful sense, this could be true, as biopharmaceutical companies cram their way to produce the world's most-awaited substance today.

Hope is on its way: Canadian scientists have sent the first batch of an experimental vaccine to the World Health Organization on Monday, containing 800 vials. Canada's Health Minister Rona Ambrose said via Channel NewsAsia that the sent vaccines were first of the three shipments, all coming from the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.

Stored at a temperature of -80 degrees Celsius, the shipped vaccines will be transferred via a specialized courier from Winnipeg to the University Hospital of Geneva in Switzerland. Trials will begin by late October or early November.

We have previously reported about vaccines being developed to control Ebola, which includes ZMapp made by Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc. and vaccines from Profectus BioSciences, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

GSK's vaccine and the Canadian VSV-EBOV were reported to show promising results when tested on monkeys.

The recently-shipped Canadian vaccines have already begun clinical trials among humans in the U.S. last week. BBC cited Ebola's current death toll from WHO to reach 4,555 as of Oct. 14 -- 2,484 casualties came from Liberia, 1,200 from Sierra Leone, 862 from Guinea and 8 from Nigeria. The latter has been declared free from Ebola on Monday.

Why Canada's vaccine needed to be shipped in three separate times was reported by CityNews Toronto. Accordingly, the shipment strategy will serve as a precautionary measure should any accident occur during transfer. Temperature control is a very important factor in maintaining a vaccine's potency.

The product was reported to be the output of more than a decade of efforts from the Canadian scientists at the National Microbiology Laboratory.

Time reported that Canada is giving away the vaccine to WHO so that it could be used as an "international resource."

Canada's chief public health officer Dr. Gregory Taylor said, "This vaccine, the product of many years of scientific research and innovation, could be an important tool in curbing the outbreak."

Meanwhile, GSK's vaccine might come late for the outbreak. Representative Dr. Ripley Ballou said via BBC that the safety and effectiveness data of the vaccine will be ready by late 2015. It appears that the British-owned company is not aiming to be the first to solve the global crisis.

"I don't think this can be seen as the primary answer to this particular outbreak," Ballou added.

Visit the Public Health Agency of Canada for more information.

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