Congo to deploy second Ebola vaccine to battle lethal virus

GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo: Well being authorities in Democratic Republic of Congo mentioned on Saturday that they plan to introduce a second Ebola vaccine, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, to counter the second-worst outbreak of the virus in historical past.

The group overseeing Congo’s Ebola response didn’t say when precisely the J&J vaccine can be launched. It should complement one other vaccine manufactured by Merck, which has been administered to greater than 225,000 individuals since August 2018.

The J&J vaccine has been a supply of controversy amongst Congolese well being officers. The previous well being minister, who was stripped of oversight of the Ebola response in July, opposed its use, saying it had not been confirmed secure or efficient.

However in a press release, the present Ebola response group mentioned the vaccine was secure and famous that it was already being trialed in neighboring Uganda and within the West African nation of Guinea.

“It’s a vaccine that different international locations already use. Why can’t we use it in Congo to guard our inhabitants?” the assertion mentioned.

The assertion mentioned well being officers meant to begin by providing the J&J vaccine to Congolese merchants who cross into Rwanda after which to residents of the province neighboring the epicenter of the outbreak “to create a hall of immunized individuals”.

The J&J vaccine requires two injections eight weeks aside, in contrast to the Merck vaccine, which requires a single shot.

The present Ebola outbreak has killed greater than 2,100 individuals for the reason that center of final yr, second solely to the 2013-16 outbreak in West Africa that killed greater than 11,300.

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