Ebola Vaccine Abandoned in 2008 After Showing Promise in Trials

The pitch was intriguing: U.S. health officials wanted to fast-track trials for an Ebola vaccine and sounded the call for volunteers.

Charles Sullivan called up the hotline on a whim, figuring the National Institutes of Health already had filled its queue and wouldn’t need him. But he was accepted for three rounds of shots of a deactivated virus, a year’s worth of blood analysis and a $900 check for his trouble. The clinical trial went well, and the vaccine seemed promising.

A decade later, the country is still waiting for a vaccine amid a worldwide Ebola outbreak, and Mr. Sullivan is wondering what happened to the research conducted on him and 27 other test subjects in 2003.

“It seems like they’re fast-tracking the same thing they were fast-tracking a decade ago,” said Mr. Sullivan, a 51-year-old resident of Rockville, Maryland.