$5M Ebola vaccine deal aims to prevent outbreaks

The experimental Ebola vaccine originally developed in Canada could prevent future outbreaks under a new $5 million US deal.

Company to ensure 300,000 doses starting in May for use in clinical trials and emergency use

The experimental Ebola vaccine was tested on frontline workers and government officials in Guinea. (WHO)

The experimental Ebola vaccine originally developed in Canada could prevent future outbreaks under a new $5 million US deal.

The global vaccine alliance, Gavi, said Wednesday it will provide the funds to help develop Merck & Co.'s VSV-EBOV vaccine.

The agreement was announced Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

If the vaccine gets the regulatory green light then under the terms of the deal, Merck will ensure 300,000 doses are available starting in May for use in expanded clinical trials and emergency use.

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa claimed the lives of more than 11,300 people and infected over 28,600.

"The most recent Ebola-related death in Sierra Leone and the fact that we know the reservoirs of Ebola still exist, underline why we must learn lessons from the devastating impact of the crisis and ensure we are better prepared for infectious disease outbreaks," Gavi CEO Dr. Seth Berkley said in a release.

Gavi includes governments in donor and developing countries, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and World Bank, the vaccine industry, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and private sector partners committed to increasing access to vaccines in lower-income countries. 

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