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Canada offers WHO experimental Ebola vaccine

Ottawa/Geneva - Canada has offered the World Health Organization (WHO) an experimental vaccine against Ebola, the country's Public Health Agency said Tuesday.

Some 800 to 1,000 doses of the experimental medicine could be sent, said Gregory Taylor, deputy leader of the agency.

Ten doses of the drug known as VSV-EBOV have been sent to a hospital in Geneva, at the request of the WHO, and to the aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres as an emergency supply.

Using experimental-stage Ebola drugs is justified, a panel of medical ethicists convened by the WHO said Tuesday.

Several experimental drugs offered grounds for hope, said WHO health innovation chief Marie-Paule Kieny.

Liberia said this week it had requested doses of the medicine ZMapp, which has reportedly already been used on two doctors. The request was approved and doses of ZMapp were being sent to the country.

Medecins Sans Frontieres, which has hundreds of staff in West Africa, welcomed the WHO decision.

It said that experimental drugs alone would not stop the problem and that a massive increase in medical staff was necessary.

There were 1,800 confirmed and suspected cases of Ebola and more than 1,000 deaths as of August 9, the WHO said.

DPA


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