A batch of experimental Ebola vaccine was today set to arrive in Switzerland from Canada, as researchers scramble to beat the deadly disease which has west Africa in its grip.
Marie-Paule Kieny, assistant director general of the World Health Organization, said the 800 vials would arrive by plane today and be transferred tomorrow to the Geneva University Hospital.
“It’s better to keep them in a central pool than to start to spread them around and then to try to keep track of whether of all the mini-stocks we have have been kept at the right temperature,” Kieny told reporters.
The vaccine must be stored at minus 80 degrees Celsius (-112 degrees Fahrenheit).
Canada has offered the Geneva-based WHO 800 vials — each believed to contain about two doses — of the rVSV vaccine developed at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.
Licenced by the Canadian government to US firm NewLink Genetics, rVSV is one of two experimental Ebola vaccines identified by the WHO as having shown promising results when tested on monkeys.