Russian President Vladimir Putin surprised health experts all over the world with his groundbreaking announcement regarding a new Ebola vaccine, but his declaration of an effective drug has also raised skepticism among the medical community.

At a cabinet meeting on Jan. 13, Putin announced that a team of scientists in his country have successfully developed a new Ebola vaccine that is much more powerful than current treatments.

"We have good news," the president said. "We have registered a medicine for the Ebola fever, which after the relevant tests, has proven to have a high effectiveness, higher than those drugs which until now have been used in the world."

In December 2015, Russia reportedly listed two Ebola fever vaccines, both of which were developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology with the aid of the defense and health ministries in the country.

Minister of Health Veronika Skvortsova said one of the vaccines was designed specifically for people with immunodeficiency.

"One of the vaccines is absolutely unique and has no analogues in the world. It provides 100 percent immunity to the disease," said Skvortsova.

The Russian health minister said Guinea, where the latest series of outbreaks took place, has already asked officials for help in distributing the new vaccine to its territory. Skvortsova added that Putin has already authorized the foreign and health ministries to begin work with Africa.

Skepticism About The New Ebola Vaccine

However, some experts have expressed doubts concerning the new Ebola vaccine, especially because Putin did not divulge any detail about it, such as its name or how it worked.

Ira Longini, an infectious diseases expert in Florida and a scientist who helped develop the only Ebola vaccine to pass the highest stage of testing, said the claims for the new Ebola vaccine is "nonsensical."

Longini was involved in a previous study involving the VSV-ZEBOV vaccine. The study, which was featured in the journal The Lancet, found that the VSV-ZEBOV vaccine is likely to be "highly effective" against the disease. It was tested on a large group of people; hence, their study reached the Phase 3 trial.

In contrast, Longini said that the early stage of the Russians' vaccine testing indicated that it was impossible to discuss its effectiveness.

"This is a preliminary stage 1 study. Which is fine - it shows their product should go forward. It shows some promise," said Longini. "But you can't say anything about efficacy at this point."

Longini said that without a Phase 3 efficacy trial, statements about the effectiveness of a vaccine cannot be confirmed yet.

"The best they could say is it's just promising," added Longini.

In October 2014, the health ministry in Russia said the country was producing three Ebola vaccines, which were expected to be ready within the next six months. One of the vaccines was tested for a clinical trial, said health minister Skvortsova.

As of today, there are still no approved treatments or vaccines for Ebola. The deadly disease has already killed more than 11,000 people in affected areas in West Africa.

On Thursday, Jan. 14, the World Health Organization declared that the latest Ebola outbreak in Liberia is now over, as it has been 42 days since the last registered case in the area.

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