11/14/2014 11:57 EST | Updated 01/14/2015 05:59 EST

Ebola vaccine clinical trial to begin in Halifax

A clinical trial for Canada's Ebola vaccine will take place in Halifax, the federal government announced Friday.

The experimental vaccine will be tested on a small group of people to assess its safety, determine the appropriate dosage and identify side effects.

The vaccine doesn't contain the live Ebola virus, and there's no risk that volunteers could contract the virus by participating in the trial, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research said.

The IWK Health Centre in Halifax was to begin recruiting volunteers Friday afternoon. It's looking for 40 generally healthy people between the ages of 18 and 65, the hospital told CBC News.

A hospital spokesperson said the trial will begin as soon as 40 volunteers are gathered.

Jointly funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Public Health Agency of Canada, the trial will test whether lower doses of the vaccine can induce an immune response in an individual.

The vaccine, known as VSV-EBOV, is also being tested in the United States in an effort to move onto further clinical trials in larger populations as quickly as possible, said the agency.

Trial results are expected in early 2015.