UPDATE 1-Canada to ship experimental Ebola vaccine to WHO in Geneva

Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:51pm EDT
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* Vaccine to be sent to Geneva in three shipments

* WHO will decide how vaccine will be distributed

* Ebola outbreak is largest on record (Adds further detail, background)

TORONTO, Oct 18 (Reuters) - The Canadian government will ship 800 vials of its experimental Ebola vaccine to the World Health Organization in Geneva beginning on Monday, the Public Health Agency of Canada said on Saturday.

The WHO, in consultation with health authorities in the countries most affected by the outbreak of the disease, will decide on how the vaccine will be distributed and used, the agency said in a statement.

The vaccine is undergoing clinical trials on humans at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in the United States after showing promising results in animal testing, it said.

The Canadian government said in August it would donate between 800 and 1,000 doses of its VSV-EBOV vaccine to the WHO for use in Africa, but the vaccine remained in a government lab as Canadian and WHO officials grappled with logistical and ethical issues.

The vaccine was developed at Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The Canadian government has said that because the vaccine is experimental, it is not sure exactly how many people could be immunized or treated with the amount being shipped.   Continued...