NEW YORK - US health officials will announce on Thursday that a human study of an Ebola vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline will begin within a couple of weeks and not later this year as the company estimated originally, according to people familiar with the plans.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will make the announcement as part of a previously scheduled briefing for reporters, the sources said.

In addition, a steering committee made up of senior officials from NIH and the Department of Defense last week approved the first step toward using three advanced laboratories to manufacture Ebola vaccines and treatments, a person familiar with the planning told Reuters.

The three labs, in Texas, Maryland and North Carolina, were set up in 2012 by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in partnership with private industry to respond to pandemics or chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear threats..

A feasibility analysis would determine which of the three labs, called Centers for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing (CIADM), have the capabilities to produce Ebola products including a special cocktail of antibodies like the experimental therapy from Mapp Biopharmaceutical that has been used in a few cases.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger