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Image of the Week: Ebola vaccine trial

19 Sep, 2014

Ebola vaccine

This week’s image of the week is shows Dr Felicity Hartnell administering the first dose of a trial Ebola vaccine to volunteer Ruth Atkins.

Ms Atkins, who has previously worked as a nurse in the NHS, said: “I volunteered because the situation in West Africa is so tragic and I thought being part of this vaccination process was something small I could do to hopefully make a huge impact”. She first heard the call for volunteers when listening to Professor Adrian Hill, who is leading the research at the University of Oxford, on the radio.

“I did not realise until today how many people behind the scenes have worked extra and unsociable hours to get this to trial so quickly. The team has been so helpful and supportive, coming in for early morning appointments to allow me to take part before I go to work” she said.

The Wellcome Trust co-funded this rapid response vaccine safety trial with the Medical Research Council and Depart for International Development. The candidate Ebola vaccine has been co-developed by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to protect against the Zaire species of Ebola, which is the one circulating in West Africa.

With current WHO figures putting the death toll from the current Ebola outbreak at almost 2500 (as of September 13th) it is vital that action is taken to contain the disease.

Find out more about the Wellcome Trust’s fast-tracked funding for Ebola research on our website.

Image credit: Wellcome Trust

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