The multicenter phase 1 clinical trial to test the Ebola vaccine VSV-ZEBOV-GP has been temporarily suspended after 4 of 59 vaccinated participants at Hopitaux Universitaires de Geneve, Switzerland experienced mild inflammation and joint pain in their hands and feet several weeks after being given the vaccine. VSV-ZEBOV-GP, a vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)-based vaccine that expresses the Ebola virus surface glycoprotein, was developed by researchers at the Canadian Public Health Agency and recently licensed to Merck and NewLink Genetics Corp. for clinical testing. These two companies are assessing the vaccine’s safety profile and level of immune response in healthy volunteers. Although other trial centers in the United States, Germany, Canada, Kenya and Gabon report no symptoms of inflammation in their volunteers, all clinical trials are suspended until early January pending a review of additional data and to communicate respective findings and recommendations to the other testing centers.
Other vaccines reported to cause temporary joint pain and inflammation includes the MMR vaccine; a vaccine that contains live attenuated RNA viruses Measles, Mumps, and Rubella virus. These types of symptoms generally occur in 1 out of 4 teenage or adult women and usually within 7-12 days after the injection.