(RxWiki News) Health officials announced Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready to use in 2015. If they prove effective, the vaccines could be a boost to the fight against the current West African Ebola outbreak that has claimed more than 4,800 lives.
World Health Organization officials announced that two Ebola vaccines currently in trials may be ready for use in 2015.
BBC News reports that vaccines could be available to health workers in West Africa as early as December 2014.
Five other potential vaccines will begin testing in March, officials said, but they did not give details about the testing.
If the two vaccines prove safe and effective, they could play a major role in stemming the tide of what is now the largest Ebola outbreak in history. But officials said the vaccines would only be a part of the larger effort, not a "magic bullet," reports ABC News.
GlaxoSmithKline, the company that developed one of the Ebola vaccines, said it may be able to make around 1 million doses per month by late 2015.
The vaccines would be given to people who don't already have Ebola, the virus that can cause the often fatal Ebola virus disease. The vaccines would prevent people from contracting the virus.
Ebola is only contagious when patients show symptoms. Symptoms include high fever, nausea, vomiting and, later, unexplained bleeding. The virus can only be transmitted through the body fluids of infected patients.