Ebola Vaccine Tests Suspended Over Joint Pain In Test Subjects
Swiss researchers halted one of several trials of a possible Ebola vaccine after volunteer test subjects complained of pain in their hands and feet, according to the NBC News website. The University of Geneva said the trial was stopped after 59 people were vaccinated, according to the NBC News article ‘Joint Pain Interrupts Ebola Vaccine Trial.’
Merck, which is in a partnership to develop the vaccine using an animal virus called vesicular stomach virus (VSV), said in a statement that it is unclear if the VSV vaccine causes the joint pain. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said virtually any vaccine can cause side effects, and joint pain is a common side effect in vaccines.
As of Dec. 10, the Ebola epidemic had killed an estimated 6,300 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the three West African nations hit hardest by the largest Ebola outbreak in history.
Feds Offer Legal Immunity to Ebola Vaccine Makers
On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources (HHS) offered liability protections to drugmakers rushing to develop Ebola vaccines, according to a FOX News report. The protections offer immunity under U.S. law against lawsuits related to the manufacturing, testing, development, distribution, and administration of three vaccines for the Ebola virus,’ according to FOX’s Dec. 10 report, ‘US Agency Offers Immunity to Ebola Vaccine Makers.’
HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell urged other nations to adopt similar liability protections because it is ‘an essential strategy in our global response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa,’ according to a statement quoted in the FOX report.
Ebola Experts Say Expanded Testing Needed to Fight Virus
Experts gathered at a meeting convened by the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, said quickly identifying, quarantining and testing people believed to be infected by Ebola is the only way to end the epidemic until a vaccine is created, according to a Dec. 11 Scientific American report. The experts are expected to discuss how to roll out widespread testing in West Africa and develop a six-month plan to improve testing, according Declan Butler’s article, ‘Ebola Experts Seek to Expand Testing.’
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