Ebola vaccine shows no major side effects in small study


An experimental vaccine against Ebola virus has tested well in people, researchers report. The vaccine uses a chimpanzee common cold virus that cannot replicate to deliver an Ebola protein that doesn’t cause infection. Combined, the virus and protein trigger an immune reaction.

When 20 healthy adults received vaccine shots, their immune systems mounted an antibody response against the protein. Ten of the volunteers, who got a larger dose of the vaccine, developed a stronger reaction than the others. Two of the volunteers ran a brief fever, but there were no severe side effects.

Researchers report the findings November 26 in the New England Journal of Medicine. Earlier tests in monkeys had shown that the shot could protect against infection when the animals were exposed to live Ebola virus.

Another Ebola vaccine is undergoing similar safety testing in people. Public health officials hope to move both vaccines to the field in West Africa soon.