Oxford: Ebola Vaccine Trial Begins

17 September 2014, 09:58 | Updated: 17 September 2014, 09:59

A healthy Briton is to become the first person to receive a potential new vaccine for the Ebola virus.

The UK volunteer will be given the candidate inoculation in a safety trial being conducted by experts at the University of Oxford.

The person will be the first of 60 to receive the experimental drug in the UK trial.

The testing is part of a series of safety trials of potential vaccines to combat the virus, which could offer hope to the thousands facing the illness in West Africa where an outbreak has killed around 53% of those infected.

The vaccine, co-developed by the US National Institutes of Health and British drug company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), targets the "Zaire species" of Ebola which is one of the strains circulating in West Africa.

It uses a single benign Ebola virus protein to generate an immune response. The university said the vaccine does not contain infectious Ebola virus material and will not cause a person taking part in the trial to be infected.

The trials are conducted on healthy people to see whether they suffer any side effects.