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An Ebola Vaccine - Without a Needle?

A single-dose Ebola vaccine, given without a needle, has protected primates against infection for at least 21 weeks, according to a new study.

The vaccination was given to macaques, a kind of Asian monkey, through their nose and lungs.

The study was reported in the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics.

The researchers noted that the current Ebola outbreak, which has already claimed thousands and is likely to grow even more serious, could be controlled or even reversed with an effective vaccine. And eliminating the needle from the vaccination process could also help prevent the spread of Ebola and other illnesses, such as HIV, that might be contracted through needle pricks and handling of medical waste.

Other vaccines are being developed to fight Ebola, but they require an injection.

The researchers, from several institutions, including the University of Texas, gave the macaques the vaccine through the nose and, via a cathether, into their airways. They exposed the macaques to the virus more than four months later. None of the three animals became ill.

However, the scientists said that further work is needed to see if this form of vaccine could be used in a large-scale immunization effort.

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