By Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Dec. 23, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- An experimental Ebola vaccine was highly effective against the deadly virus in a large trial conducted in Guinea, researchers say.
The trial was conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), Guinea's Ministry of Health and international partners. The results were published Dec. 22 in The Lancet.
"While these compelling results come too late for those who lost their lives during West Africa's Ebola epidemic, they show that when the next Ebola outbreak hits, we will not be defenseless," lead author Marie-Paule Kieny said in a journal news release. She is WHO's assistant director-general for health systems and innovation.
The vaccine is called rVSV-ZEBOV.
Vaccine maker Merck will submit the vaccine for regulatory approval by the end of 2017. The company has promised to make 300,000 doses available for emergency use in the interim.
Further studies are needed to determine the vaccine's safety in children and other vulnerable groups, such as people with HIV, the researchers said.
The 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa sickened more than 28,000 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, and killed more than 11,000.