The World Health Organization said that two vaccines for Ebola could be used in medical trials in West Africa as early as January. An effective vaccine – combined with increased international aid and healthcare volunteers – should help to halt an outbreak that’s infected upwards of 9,000 people and killed at least 4,500, almost all in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
The new vaccines are currently undergoing, or in some cases will soon begin, clinical trials in Europe, Africa, and the United States. Experimental Ebola drugs were used to treat a handful of patients in August, but without clinical testing the WHO has been reluctant to roll it out on a larger scale.
As The Christian Science Monitor reported at the time, proceeding with caution with an experimental drug is paramount, particularly “ on a continent with history of being on the receiving end" of Western medicines.