Up to a million doses of a possible Ebola vaccine could be shipped to countries ravaged by the deadly virus in the next 14 months
Ebola vaccine trials could start in west Africa in December, leading to the potential for up to a million doses to be sent to affected countries by the end of 2015, the World Health Organization has said.
"All is being put in place to start efficacy tests in the affected countries as early as December," said Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO assistant director general.
She added that several hundred thousand doses could be available in the "first half" of next year, and even more roled out in the last six months of 2015.
Ruth Atkins the first healthy UK volunteer to receive the ChAd3 ebola vaccine
Ms Kieny spoke after the UN health agency held closed-door talks on Thursday to discuss potential vaccines with medical experts, officials from Ebola-affected nations, pharmaceutical firms and funding agencies.
Two experimental vaccines are seen as the leading candidates to beat Ebola.
Supplies of Canadian-discovered experimental vaccine rVSV are arriving in Geneva for a new round of trials. Hopes are also centred on ChAd3, made by British company GlaxoSmithKline.
There are five other potential vaccines in the pipeline, Ms Kieny said.
WHO hopes to deploy huge numbers of whichever proves to provide the most effective antidote to the deadly disease in trials.
"Vaccine is not the magic bullet, but when ready, it may be a good part of the effort to turn the tide of the epidemic," Ms Kieny said.
Edited by Oliver Duggan