Experimental Ebola vaccine trials begin in Africa

Three people in Mali were injected with an experimental Ebola vaccine, the first such trial on African soil, the Health Ministry said Friday.

The volunteers were among 40 Malian health workers who agreed to participate in an international trial of the cAd3-EBO-Z vaccine, which was developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Maryland in the United States.

The trial vaccine was previously tested on chimpanzees and was found to stimulate an immune response in the apes against the Ebola virus. “We should be able to have very preliminary safety results and even some immunology results by the end of November,” said Samba Sow, director general of the Centre for Vaccine Development in the capital, Bamako. It is expected to take several months before small amounts of the vaccine will be available, Sow said.

One volunteer, a 37-year-old paediatrician, said he decided to participate in the trial to help save lives. He was hoping to become immune to the Ebola virus, the unnamed doctor said, “because if we have a case of Ebola in Mali, I would want to be called to be involved in treating that person.” Initial trials of the vaccine started in September on healthy individuals in the US and Britain and 40 people are also to take part in the Gambia.

A trial for a second vaccine developed by Canada’s health agency is being conducted in the US. More than 8 000 Ebola cases have been reported in West Africa and almost half the patients have died, according to the World Health Organisation. – Sapa

PW Botha wagged his finger and banned us in 1988 but we stood firm. We built a reputation for fearless journalism, then, and now. Through these last 35 years, the Mail & Guardian has always been on the right side of history.

These days, we are on the trail of the merry band of corporates and politicians robbing South Africa of its own potential.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Guest Author

Soundtrack to a pandemic: Africa’s best coronavirus songs

Drawing on lessons from Ebola, African artists are using music to convey public health messaging. And they are doing it in style

In East Africa, the locusts are coming back for more

In February the devastating locust swarms were the biggest seen in East Africa for 70 years. Now they’re even bigger

Western Cape Judge Mushtak Parker faces second misconduct complaint

The Cape Bar Council says his conduct is ‘unbecoming the holding of judicial office’

‘My biggest fear was getting the virus and dying in...

South African Wuhan evacuee speaks about his nine-week ordeal

Press Releases

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders

Dimension Data launches Saturday School in PE

The Gauteng Saturday School has produced a number of success stories