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University of Oxford scientists trial of new vaccine against Ebola

Copyright © africanews
Sam Mednick/AP

United Kingdom

The first human clinical trials for a new vaccine against Ebola have started at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

The study is being conducted by the same team that created the AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19.

"We are using the same technology that we used to develop the Oxford-Astrazeneca Covid vaccine. The vaccine that we've developed is actually designed to target two species of Ebola virus, and these are the two species that have caused the vast majority of Ebola outbreaks and deaths", said Daniel Jenkin, principal investigator for the EBL 07 trial at the Jenner Institute in Oxford.

There are four species of Ebola virus that have been known to affect humans.

Of these, Zaire is the most lethal strain causing death in 70% to 90% of cases if left untreated.

"The Sudan Ebola virus that we're also targeting here is also a very deadly form of Ebola. The fatality rate from these kinds of viruses ranges from somewhere between 20 to 90 percent, so these are very serious illnesses and having vaccines that can protect people, give the best possible protection is something that the world really needs", concluded the scientist.

The new vaccine developed by Oxford scientists is based on a weakened version of a common cold virus that has been genetically modified.

The results of Phase One clinical trials will be known in the second half of 2022.

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