OTTAWA — The federal government says Canada will start shipping its experimental Ebola vaccine to the World Health Organization on Monday.
The government says in a release the Public Health Agency of Canada is supplying the vaccine to the UN body in Geneva in its role as the international co-ordinating body for the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. It says Canada will ship 800 vials of its experimental vaccine in three separate shipments, as a precautionary measure.
The WHO will consult with its partners, including the health authorities from the affected countries, to determine how best to distribute and use the vaccine. For instance, it must take into account concerns about using an experimental vaccine in people.
The government announced last month that clinical trials had started in the United States on a Canadian-made Ebola vaccine, with results expected in December.
The WHO says the Ebola outbreak has killed more than 4,500 people in West Africa.
“This vaccine, the product of many years of scientific research and innovation, could be an important tool in curbing the outbreak,” said Dr. Gregory Taylor of the public health agency.
“We will continue to work closely with the WHO to address some of the ethical and logistical issues around using this experimental vaccine in the fight against Ebola.”