No serious side effects in Merck/Newlink Ebola vaccine test

Tue Dec 2, 2014 5:05am EST
 
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LONDON Dec 2 (Reuters) - The first people vaccinated with an experimental Ebola shot being developed by U.S. drugmaker Merck and Canada's NewLink have had no serious side effects so far but a few experienced mild fever, researchers said on Tuesday.

The shot, one of several being rushed through human testing in the hope they can be approved for use in the Ebola epidemic currently raging in West Africa, is going through initial human safety tests at the University Hospitals of Geneva.

"After his or her injection, each volunteer was kept under observation for 1.5 hours at the clinical trials unit," the hospital said in a statement.

"To date, no major side effects have been observed after the injections, which triggered the expected inflammatory responses. They (the inflammatory responses) have been weak to moderate, with limited cases of mild fever," it added.

Since 10 November, 34 volunteers have been vaccinated with the shot, known as VSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccine, at the request of the World Health Organization (WHO). (Reporting by Kate Kelland, editing by Andrew Heavens)