WHO: Vaccine for Ebola Should Be Ready by 2015

November 18, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. vaccine /vækˈsin/ (n.) – an injectable substance that makes one immune to a certain disease or virus
Example: Doctors must be injected with the vaccine first before treating the patients to prevent being infected.

2. expedite /ˈɛk spɪˌdaɪt/ (v.) – to speed up the process or to make an action happen sooner
Example: The government had to expedite emergency evacuations to prevent any more fatalities.

3. collaboration /kəˌlæbəˈreɪʃən/ (n.) – the act of working with another person or group of people to accomplish something
Example: The pharmaceutical company manufactured the medicine in collaboration with a well-known university.

4. outbreak /ˈaʊtˌbreɪk/ (n.) – the sudden and quick spread of a virus or disease in an area
Example: The outbreak of the virus happened in just two weeks.

5. succumb /səˈkʌm/ (v.) – to die from a disease or sickness
Example: The first victims of the virus instantly succumbed to a fatal fever.


Read the text below.
A vaccine for the Ebola [i-BOH-luh] virus should be available to the public by next year, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced in August.

According to several WHO officials, immediately preparing a vaccine against the deadly virus is achievable if efforts are expedited. The international organization looks to the British medicinal manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline [GLAK-soh-smith-klahyn] (GSK), which has been developing a vaccine for Ebola since May 2013. GSK, in collaboration with the US National Institutes of Health’s Vaccine Research Center (VRC), has begun clinical trials in September.

However, GSK and VRC stated that producing a vaccine against a serious disease takes time. In response to WHO’s firm expectations, they stressed that the discovery of Ebola vaccine is still an ongoing project without a fixed deadline.

Other experimental treatments are currently being developed. In fact, one treatment has been recently reported to show promising results in clinical trials. Two American aid workers who have been infected with Ebola are said to be responding well to an experimental serum, ZMapp [zee-map], which was successfully tested on monkeys.

Medical experts have advised that these experimental treatments be made available in African nations. Since its outbreak in West Africa in March this year, the Ebola virus has taken more than 900 lives within the continent alone. African countries that are most affected, such as Guinea [GIN-ee] and Liberia [lahy-BEER-ee-uh], have declared to close their land borders in an attempt to isolate the epidemic.

At least 60 percent of Ebola victims succumb to the disease. Without a vaccine, the virus is considered an international threat to public health.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Should GSK and VRC be faster or more thorough in developing the vaccine? Why?
·         Do you think that experimental treatments should be made available to the public? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         Do you think it is possible for the world to be completely epidemic-free? Why or why not?
·         How can we protect ourselves from viruses and sicknesses? Kindly discuss with your tutor. 

November 18, 2014