The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced that one million doses of an Ebola vaccine will be produced by the end of 2015.

Dr Marie Paule Kieny, a WHO assistant director-general, said that candidate Ebola vaccines are expected to be available for efficacy trials in accepted countries in West Africa in December 2014.

There are currently two candidate Ebola vaccine ready for clinical trials, with five more expected to start in first trimester of 2015.

By the end of the first half of 2015, a few hundred thousand doses of candidate Ebola vaccines will be available for use, and pharmaceutical companies developing the vaccines have committed to ramp up capacity for millions of doses to be available in 2015.

Vaccines could be offered to health workers on the frontline in West Africa before the end of 2014, but there are no plans for a mass vaccination program before June 2015 at the earliest, and even then if the vaccinations have been deemed safe, if the epidemic curve justified the action, and if sufficient volumes of the vaccination were available.

The first shipment of lead candidate Ebola vaccines has already arrived in Geneva from the Public Health Agency of Canada, with commitments to finance the development of the vaccines coming from donor countries, as well as the World Bank, GAVI, and the medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

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