Ebola vaccine trials are being temporarily halted after subjects complained of unexplained joint pain. Health officials decided to stop testing until the symptoms could be researched and deemed non-threatening. Developed by pharmaceutical giants, Merck and NewLink, the promising vaccine could be the answer to the world’s worst outbreak of Ebola.
Trials on the experimental vaccine began on November 10. 59 volunteers have been vaccinated so far. There have been mild side effects, such as fever, but officials aren’t worried. The vaccine’s researchers at the University of Geneva Hospital released a statement saying, “They [the participants] are all fine and are being monitored regularly by the medical team leading the study.” Trials are set to continue on January 5 after the team can prove the joint pain in the hands and feet is only “benign and temporary.”
The optimism is good news for West Africa, which has been plagued with the virus. The virus has killed more than 6,000 people. The vaccines’s future looks good. Once testing is finished, GAVI, the global vaccines alliance, has promised to purchase 300 million dollars worth of the vaccine.
[Photo credit: nbcnews.com]The Ebola outbreak has caused nationwide fear. While most cases have been centered in West Africa, a few cases have popped up in other countries, such as Spain and North America. The virus has continued to make headlines after some patients were transported to America for treatment. Most recently, Time Magazine named the Ebola fighters as their 2014’s person of the year.
Despite the great advances in the fight against Ebola, the United Nations says it will takes months to get the outbreak under control.