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Russian Ebola vaccine trials to continue in 2018

August 17, 19:06 UTC+3 MOSCOW

According to the Russian Health Ministry, Russia’s Gam Evac Combi is the world’s first officially registered vaccine approved for clinical use

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MOSCOW, August 17. /TASS/. Vaccination and clinical testing of the Russian vaccine Gam Evac Combi against the deadly Ebola virus, launched in Guinea on August 9, will continue until the end of 2018, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

"Under the program of trials, volunteers will be vaccinated with Gam Evac Combi and their condition and immune development will be monitored within a year’s time. Successful result of research will give a possibility to use the Russian vaccine as preventive measures against Ebola across the world," the ministry said.

"It is expected that vaccination of 2,000 Guinean volunteers and post-registration clinical testing of the Russian vaccine against Ebola, Gam Evac Combi, in the Guinean Republic will continue until the end of 2018," the ministry went on.

The vaccine "develops long-lasting immunity of the vaccinated person and has no serious side effects," the ministry stressed. "The new medicine is efficient if stored under the temperature of minus 20 degrees, but at the moment the medication is developed that will be efficient also under the temperature of plus four degrees," the ministry added.

It also noted that the Russian vaccine "is the only duly registered at the national level medicine against Ebola virus disease".

About the vaccine

According to the Russian Health Ministry, Russia’s Gam Evac Combi is the world’s first officially registered vaccine approved for clinical use for the prevention of hemorrhagic fever caused by the Ebola virus.

The presentation of the Russian vaccines (named Gam Evac and Gam Evac Combi) to the World Health Organization (WHO) took place in Geneva on February 15, 2016.

At a meeting between Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova and WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, the two sides emphasized the importance of the Russian Ebola vaccine for the international community.

According to Skvortsova, the Russian vaccine has proved its effectiveness and has practically no side effects.

"One hundred percent of vaccinated people have a high antibody titer to the causative agent. We have been monitoring the vaccinated individuals for five months now, and this titer has remained high for five months. The blood serum of those vaccinated completely kills and neutralizes the virus in laboratory conditions," the minister explained then.

The first batch of the vaccine went to Guinea in July 2017.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 11,300 people have died from Ebola in West Africa, primarily in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. More than 28,600 were infected.

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