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Experimental Ebola vaccine administered to some in D.C. area

Dr. Shon Remich is the director of Translational Medicine at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring. (WTOP/John Aaron)

WASHINGTON — Some people in the Washington, D.C. area may now be resistant to Ebola, if an experimental vaccine can live up to some very high expectations.

Since a clinical trial began Monday, seven people have been vaccinated, and the hope is to vaccinate six more on Thursday, according to Dr. Shon Remich, director of Translational Medicine at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland.

If no serious side effects are witnessed, others will be given stronger doses of the vaccine. The plan is for a total of 39 people to be vaccinated and studied over the coming seven to eight months.

Some of those involved in the trial will be getting a placebo.

This is the first time the vaccine has been given to human test subjects, and plans for the trial came together quickly.

“Obviously the global crisis has created a lot of momentum. We took about six weeks to do what we would normally take six months to do,” Remich says.

He says they have not had any problem finding volunteers in the community and stresses there is no risk of contracting Ebola from the vaccine.

The vaccine, known as VSV-EBOV, is based on a virus often found in horses and cattle. It was created by Canada’s Public Health Agency.

“They have taken a very small portion



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