The vaccine, known as rVSV-EBOV, prevented the development of Ebola in those who were vaccinated. The positive results are now enticing makers to seek regulatory approval for the drug so it can be used more widely.
Occasionally, new cases of Ebola are still being reported in Guinea. Consequently, researches have adopted a technique called ring vaccination which means that as soon as someone contracts the disease, the vaccine is given to those they've come into close contact with.
When testing, none of the 5,837 people who were given the vaccine developed Ebola after 10 days. In contrast, 23 new Ebola cases were reported among the several thousands of people who didn't get vaccinated.
Yet, while the results are promising, we have not rid ourselves of Ebola completely. The rVSV-EBOV works against Zaile Ebola virus, the subtype of Ebola responsible for most human infections, but, it does not work against the other four subtypes. The drug has also reported some unwelcome side effects including joint pain and headaches. Which means that it will likely put off the general population from getting vaccinated as a preventative measure.
Further studies are also underway to determine the vaccine's effects on children, and vulnerable people, such as those with HIV.
A license for the vaccine will hopefully be submitted at the end of 2017. In the mean time, let's all hope that this vaccine and others like it will be ready in time for the next outbreak!