According to a new study published today in The Lancet, an experimental Ebola vaccine was proven to be 100% effective in fighting the deadly virus.

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Conducted by a group of researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Center for Vaccine Development (CVD) and its sister institution CVD-Mali in Bamako, Mali, the study took place in West Africa, where only two years ago the Ebola virus claimed the lives of more than 11,000 people.

“Ebola left a devastating legacy in our country,” says Dr. KeÏta Sakoba, Director of the national agency for health security in Guinea, West Africa. “We are proud that we have been able to contribute to developing a vaccine that will prevent other nations from enduring what we endured.”


The vaccine was first administered in 2015, given to individuals in Guinea who had been in contact with patients with confirmed cases of Ebola.

Just a few months following the early trials, the World Health Organization (WHO) expressed that the results were an “extremely promising development”.

Following the preliminary results, the random selection of participants was stopped in order to administer the vaccine to those in need of it the most. A total of 5,837 people were given the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine, with none of the participants having a recorded case of Ebola after 10 days or longer.

“This both historical and innovative trial was made possible thanks to exemplary international collaboration and coordination, the contribution of many experts worldwide, and strong local involvement,” says chairman of the study steering group and director of the Division of Infectious Disease Control at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Dr. John-Arne Røttingen.

Additional studies are still ongoing as researchers asses the safety of the vaccine in children and other vulnerable population including those diagnosed with HIV.

Manufactured by Merck, Sharp, & Dohme, the vaccine will be submitted for licensing by the end of 2017 with Merck ensuring that 300,000 doses of the vaccine will be made available in the case of a new Ebola flare up.