REUTERS by Kate Kelland and Tom Miles March 5, 2015
LONDON/GENEVA --Final stage trials of an Ebola vaccine being developed by Merck and NewLink Genetics will begin in Guinea on March 7, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.
Signaling global health authorities' determination to see through trials despite a sharp drop in cases in the West Africa epidemic, the WHO said a second shot, developed by GlaxoSmithKline will be tested "in a sequential study, as supply becomes available".
All three worst-hit countries - Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone - aim to conduct final-stage trials of vaccines, and Liberia is already testing the GlaxoSmithKline and Merck-NewLink shots, while Sierra Leone is expected to announce plans soon.
But recent steep declines in new Ebola cases will make it far harder to prove whether experimental vaccines work, as the vaccine's effect will be difficult to establish.
The WHO, however, said it was committed to pushing ahead.
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