China on Thursday said it has developed a vaccine to combat the spread of deadly Ebola virus that has killed more than 7,000 people in three West African countries, and the test of the drug on humans would begin this month.
Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun told reporters that the vaccine has been developed by a research team at the Academy of Military Medical Sciences, one of the top research units of China’s People’s Liberation Army.
“The vaccine has recently passed appraisal by state and military authorities and will begin clinical tests in December,” said Yang.
He said the China-developed Ebola vaccine was the third in the world to have been put into clinical tests in the world.
It is also the world’s first 2014-genetic mutation Ebola vaccine.
Yang said that since September, the Chinese military has sent some 300 medical personnel and specialists to Sierra Leone and Liberia in eastern Africa to help control the epidemic.
Scientists around the world are racing to develop Ebola vaccines after the world’s worst outbreak of the virus, which has killed more than 7,000 people in the worst-hit countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea in West Africa.
Yang said the Chinese medical teams have worked closely with the World Health Organisation, Doctors Without Borders, local governments and the UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia to jointly combat the spread of the deadly disease.