New Ebola vaccine is ahead of schedule

Last night, multiple reports surfaced of a new Ebola vaccine that has proven 100% effective thus far. According to BBC News, “officials at the WHO [World Health Organization] believe the effectiveness of the vaccine will end up being between 75% and 100%.”

New Ebola vaccine has been 100% effective
A new vaccine against the Ebola virus has been 100% effective in preliminary trials.

This promising treatment puts the fight against the Ebola virus well ahead of my prediction in Our Dried Voices. In the introductory Chronology of that novel, I imagined a cure for Ebola would occur in 2160.

Unfortunately, medical and technological advancements often seem to run slower than we anticipate. (How long have we been fighting the war against cancer? How soon did we expect to visit Mars after the first moon landing?) And one of the major themes of Our Dried Voices is how disaster often provides the greatest impetus for progress. It is almost certain this new vaccine would not exist without the largest outbreak of Ebola in history.

As the BBC article puts it, “the hope now is that the legacy of this unprecedented outbreak will be a vaccine that means a tragedy of this scale can never be repeated.” And hopefully, we won’t have to wait forty-five years to get it.