Ebola has been ravaging parts of Africa, and the deadly virus shows no signs of stopping. Now a new needle-free vaccine has proven to be 100% effective at stopping the transmission of ebola in monkeys, and it could spell a breakthrough in the battle against the disease. The vaccine is administered through a nasal spray using a common cold virus genetically engineered to carry Ebola DNA, and it keeps protecting for at least a year after it is first administered.
Nearly 5,000 people have died in West Africa this year and though the disease hasn’t spread in the US, several people have contracted the disease over the past few months, prompting researchers to scramble for a vaccination. Researchers in Austin, Texas who developed the vaccine say that they hope their breathable vaccine could provide protection and help control the outbreak in the future.
So far the results are only part of a small study and the project, which has been underway for seven years, is currently stalled because no further funding is available for the project. Maria Croyle at the University of Texas told NBC News, “We are at the crossroads, trying to figure out where to get the funding and resources to continue.”
Several Ebola vaccines have been in development for years now, but it wasn’t until this most recent outbreak that there was a real focus for protection. What makes this particular vaccination exciting is that it doesn’t have the drawbacks of storage, transport and administration that injectables can have.