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Ebola vaccine from Glaxo seems safe after passing early safety tests

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Researchers and scientists have achieved, what could be the biggest breakthrough in current medical history. A vaccine for the deadly Ebola disease, which was under tests by GlaxoSmithKline has caused no side effects to the volunteers, as per the reports in New England Journal of Medicine.

The volunteers are of age between 18 years to 50 years. Half of the volunteers were given lower dose while other half were given higher doses of the test drug. All the volunteers developed antibodies to fight against Ebola within a month. The volunteers with higher dose produced more antibodies.

The trial began on 2nd September and will go on for 48 weeks. During this period, volunteers will be monitored to see if the vaccine is safe or not. In this early stage, the vaccine seems to be safe.Though two volunteers developed brief fever within a day of vaccination, but there were no serious adverse effects.

This vaccine, which has been jointly developed by GlaxoSmithKline’s biotechn subsidiary, Okairos and NIAID (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) contains genetic material from two Ebola strains – Zaire and Sudan. Zaire is responsible for the outbreak in West Africa. As the vaccine doesn’t contain Ebloa virus, it cannot infect people with Ebola.

Besides producing antibodies which can recognize Ebola, the product also produced a specific type of T-cell, part of body’s mechanism to hunt and kill viruses. T-cells were detected in two volunteers who got the lower dose and in seven volunteers who received higher dose.

Though trials have been successful, Glaxo is still required to conduct a lot more trials in order to prove vaccine’s effectiveness and safety.

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