UPDATE 2-Vaccine success holds hope for end to deadly scourge of Ebola

Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:47am EDT
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* Ebola vaccine 100 percent effective in Guinea trial

* WHO chief says vaccine will change the way Ebola is managed

* Fading epidemic left little time for trial to be concluded (Adds GAVI vaccine alliance's backing, details on development)

By Kate Kelland and Tom Miles

LONDON/GENEVA, July 31 (Reuters) - The world is on the verge of being able to protect humans against Ebola, the World Health Organization said on Friday, as a trial in Guinea found a vaccine to have been 100 percent effective.

Initial results from the trial, which tested Merck and NewLink Genetics' VSV-ZEBOV vaccine on some 4,000 people who had been in close contact with a confirmed Ebola case, showed complete protection after 10 days.

The results were described as "remarkable" and "game changing" by global health specialists.

"We believe that the world is on the verge of an efficacious Ebola vaccine," WHO vaccine expert Marie Paule Kieny told reporters in a briefing from Geneva.

The vaccine could now be used to help end the worst recorded outbreak of Ebola, which has killed more than 11,200 people in West Africa since it began in December 2013.   Continued...