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With over 1,000 people dead from Ebola in Africa, Canada has stepped up to send doses of an experimental vaccine to help fight the virus.

According to CBC News, Canadian researchers have never used the vaccine on humans, but claim it has had a profound effect on tested animals.

A made-in-Canada experimental Ebola vaccine will be offered for use in the West African outbreak response, the Public Health Agency of Canada revealed Tuesday. “I was pleased to offer the experimental vaccine developed by Canadian researchers as a global resource to help fight this outbreak,” Ambrose said, adding that between 800 and 1,000 doses would be donated to the WHO (World Health Organization).

The scale and urgency of the global Ebola crisis has prompted a WHO panel to agree that it was ethical to offer such “untested or unproven medical interventions,” the ministry said.

In addition to the vaccine, Health Minister Rona Ambrose confirmed that a donation in the amount of $185,000 will also be sent to the WHO to help fight prevention and control of the deadly virus.

Dr. Gregory Taylor, deputy head of the Public Health Agency, says that some doses have been held back in Canada just in case someone traveling with the virus brings it into the country.

Taylor said the agency would need to hold back some doses to do toxicology studies on the vaccine and other small studies. As well, Canada would want to have some doses on hand to offer health-care workers if someone with Ebola travelled to Canada and turned up in a hospital here.

Ten doses have also already been sent to a Geneva hospital for use on aid workers.

Americans have planned to send an experimental vaccine of its own called ZMapp. ZMapp was used on the two Americans who were exposed to the Ebola virus last week, as well as a Spanish priest. The priest died on Tuesday, while the Americans have been reported to be responding well to the vaccine.


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