Russia To Send Ebola Vaccine to West Africa in 2 Months
October 14, 2014 • 9:21AM

Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova announced Monday that Russia is planning to send a new, experimental vaccine against Ebola to Africa in two months. The efficiency of the drug, which is to be tested on the ground, is about 70-90 percent.

“Today we are discussing that we will have enough of Triazoverin vaccine in two months so that we can send [doses] to our personnel in Guinea and test its efficiency in clinical conditions,” Skvortskova said. The vaccine has so far proved efficient against various hemorrhagic fevers, including the Marburg virus, which is very similar to Ebola.

“The efficiency ranges between 70-90 percent, and this is a very good indicator,” Skvortskova said, announcing that the Russia Virology Institute is preparing a whole group of drugs. “They are basically genetically engineered drugs which can work both for disease treatment and prevention.” Russian virologists, who have set up a laboratory in Guinea, are preparing to test the vaccine on primates.

“The vaccine we have produced is made from attenuated strains [of the virus]. We now have enough to repeat the experiment on the primates and proceed to clinical trials,” she said.

On Oct. 12, Skvortskova told Rossiya-1 TV that Russian scientists are working on three potential Ebola vaccines which they expect to introduce as soon as the next six months: “We have created three vaccines. One vaccine is based on a strain of Ebola, and the other two have been created by means of genetic engineering.”

As of Oct. 8, a total of 4,033 people had died from the Ebola outbreak, out of a total of 8,399 registered cases in seven countries, the World Health Organization reported. According to WHO, the fatality rate associated with Ebola averages roughly 50 percent, but has ranged from 25 percent to 90 percent in past outbreaks.