Subjects for Ebola vaccine trial exceeding target

Dr. Stephen Kennedy is a co-investigator of the Clinical Research Partnership Team between the U.S. and Liberia. They are researching two vaccines to prevent Ebola virus disease | Courtesy of the Liberian Ministry of Information

The number of volunteers for clinical trials on two Ebola virus disease vaccines has exceeded expectations, researchers said Monday.

Stephen Kennedy, co-investigator for the Clinical Research Partnership between Liberia and the U.S., said the trial target of 600 subjects has been reached and an additional 120 individuals are on stand-by. Within the first three weeks of the trial, 324 subjects received vaccine doses. The remaining 276 individuals have gone through the informed consent process and will be scheduled to be vaccinated.

Kennedy denied rumors that people have been paid to participate in the study, clarifying that individuals involved in the trail are reimbursed for transportation costs and other expenses in accordance with international best practices.

The Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has spurred the international community to develop vaccines and other treatment options. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that as of Saturday, there have been 14,134 confirmed cases with 9,541 fatalities in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. 

Symptoms of Ebola include fever, muscle pain and weakness, spontaneous bleeding and/or bruising, vomiting and diarrhea. Currently, no treatment options other than supportive care and the immune response of the patient exist.