You might have seen a recent article in the press about an Ebola vaccine study at HMR, which incorrectly said that participants would be injected with Ebola.
In our study, we will test the safety profile of 2 vaccines and how well they stimulate the immune system to protect against Ebola virus infection. We will take blood samples to assess the immune system’s response to the study vaccines.
Below is some information about the vaccines and how they work. It is taken from the study information sheet, which has been approved by a Research Ethics Committee – a group of medical people and members of the public. Part of their job is to make sure that the information sheet is clear and fair. The ethics committee is independent of HMR and the company that is paying for the study.
“We are testing the immune response to 2 new EBOLA vaccines Ad26.ZEBOV and MVA-BN®-Filogiven in different vaccination schedules. Each vaccine is designed to stimulate immune response against key parts (proteins) of the Ebola virus in order to prevent infection. These proteins are delivered to the immune system using harmless carrier viruses or ‘vectors’. That means that they can’t cause infection. In this study, we are using two different vectors:A human adenovirus (Ad26) – a virus which can cause cold-like symptoms
Modified Vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) – a component of the smallpox virus
To these carrier vectors we have added genes coding for proteins from the Ebola virus. The two vaccines we will be using (Ad26.ZEBOV and MVA-BN®-Filo) are each known as Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) vaccines. When the study vaccines are injected, small amounts of these proteins will be produced in the body. These vaccines will not cause Ebola infection. Immunising with these vaccines is expected to stimulate the body’s immune system and may provide protection against infection with the Ebola virus.”
The ethics committee and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency have approved the study.
You cannot catch Ebola from taking part in the study.