Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Ready - Canada Offers 1000 Doses To WHO For Africa

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The Canadian Public Health Agency has offered to release 1000 dose of a made-in-Canada experimental Ebola vaccine to WHO for use in African countries battling Ebola.

The vaccine known as VSV-EBOV has never been tested on humans but has been shown to be effective in the treatment of the disease in animals.

In a statement released yesterday August 12th, the Canadian Health Minister Rona Ambrose said the World Health Organization's Director general, Margaret Chan, has approved of the donation.

"I was pleased to offer the experimental vaccine developed by Canadian researchers as a global resource to help fight this outbreak," she said, adding that between 800 and 1,000 doses would be donated to the WHO.

The Minister also revealed that Canada will be donating $185,000 to the World Health Organization for the prevention and control of the deadly virus in Africa. Canada has only 1500 of the experimental vaccine and would be sending 1000 of it to Africa.

The Minister in the statement added that "Canada feels this experimental vaccine is a global resource, so in response we are sharing it with the international community, while keeping a small supply in Canada."

The news comes hours after the World Health Organization said a panel of experts advised that it would be ethical to use untested drugs and vaccines in this raging epidemic, which is several times larger than any previous outbreak.

Meanwhile, the American woman being treated with experimental drug ZMapp is getting better. Nancy Writebol's son said the aid worker, who was infected with the Ebola virus while volunteering in Liberia, is even smiling.

Speaking with NBC's Today Show, Jeremy Writebol said his mother, Nancy Writebol, 60, who was evacuated from Monrovia last week and was wheeled on a stretcher into a special isolation unit at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, has gotten physically better

"When she came in on Tuesday last week, we were really concerned that she wasn't going to make it. To see her wheeled out of the ambulance and in, I was on the floor sobbing."

"We've seen her get physically better, her eyes brighten up, smiling, even joking a little bit" he said.

Jeremy, who says he sees his mum twice a day through a hospital window, said doctors told him they are cautiously optimistic she'll recover. Nancy is the second patient to use experimental drug, Zmapp

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