The Canadian vaccine

Medical vials and Syringe, Isolated on Blue background

On July 31, 2015, Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, the Assistant Director General of Health Systems and Innovation at the World Health Organization (WHO), presented the interim results of a VSV-ZEBOV clinical trial at a press conference. A single dose of the experimental Ebola vaccine, which was developed by NewLink Genetics and Merck Vaccines USA in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada, was shown to be 100 per cent protective against Ebola after 10 days in a study published in the Lancet. “We believe that the world is on the verge of an efficacious Ebola vaccine,” Kieny said in 2015. A bold statement, but then VSV-ZEBOV, nicknamed “the Canadian vaccine”, has earned that distinction after the success of its initial clinical trials, conducted in the field in Guinea during the height of the Ebola crisis. Although international regulatory bodies still need to be convinced of the VSV-ZEBOV’s safety, the development of the first vaccine against Ebola is an unprecedented development and one in which Canada can take great pride.  

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