NIH says Ebola vaccine shows early promise

President Obama will visit NIH to discuss Ebola response.

An experimental Ebola vaccine being tested in humans, including 20 volunteers in Baltimore, appears to be safe and is capable of stirring a response in the immune system, the Bethesda-based National Institutes of Health said Wednesday.

The candidate vaccine produced an immune system response in all 20 volunteers who received it in September in a trial at the NIH in Bethesda, according to a study published Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine. Health officials said the "positive results" will lead to accelerated trials involving more volunteers.

The vaccine has since been administered to more than 200 other subjects, including those taking part in a trial at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. The vaccine is one of several being tested as researchers work toward addressing the Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 5,000 people in three West African countries since December.

President Barack Obama is set to visit NIH next week to discuss the federal government's response to Ebola. White House officials described Wednesday's results as "another important milestone" in the effort to eradicate the virus.

john.fritze@baltsun.com

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