Ebola vaccine could be ready by July, says top health official

BY Associated Press  August 4, 2014 at 9:57 AM EST

A colorized, magnified electron microscope image of the Ebola virus growing out of an  infected VERO 46 cell. Image by NIAID

A colorized, magnified electron microscope image of the Ebola virus growing out of an infected VERO 46 cell. Image by NIAID

WASHINGTON — The nation’s top infectious disease official says there’s hope that a vaccine against Ebola will be available as early as next July.

Dr. Anthony Fauci (FOW’-chee) of the National Institutes of Health says such a preventive vaccine has been successfully tested with monkeys.

Fauci tells “CBS This Morning” that human trials with volunteers will commence in September, and by July it should be ready.

He also says people shouldn’t have concerns that two infected patients were brought here from West Africa, saying they can be handled safely.

More than 1,300 people have been stricken in West Africa, and nearly 730 have died in Guinea, Liberia and Sierre Leone.

Ebola currently has no vaccine or antidote. It is contracted through close contact with bodily fluid and blood, unlike other airborne viruses.