Congo re­ceives first doses of Ebola vac­cine

Times of Oman - - WORLD -

KIN­SHASA: The first batch of 4,000 ex­per­i­men­tal Ebola vac­cines to com­bat an out­break sus­pected to have killed 20 peo­ple ar­rived in Congo’s cap­i­tal Kin­shasa on Wed­nes­day, said a Reuters witness at the air­port.

The Health Min­istry said vac­ci­na­tions would start on the week­end, the first time the vac­cine would come into use since it was de­vel­oped two years ago.

The vac­cine, de­vel­oped by Merck and sent from Europe by the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion, is still not li­censed but proved ef­fec­tive dur­ing lim­ited trials in West Africa in the big­gest ever out­break of Ebola, which killed 11,300 peo­ple in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone from 2014-2016.

Health of­fi­cials hope they can use it to con­tain the lat­est out­break in north­west Demo­cratic Re­pub­lic of Congo which the WHO be­lieves has so far killed 20 peo­ple since April.

Health work­ers have recorded two con­firmed cases, 22 prob­a­ble cases and 17 sus­pected cases of Ebola in three health zones of Congo’s Equa­teur province, and iden­ti­fied 432 peo­ple who may have had con­tact with the dis­ease.

WHO spokesman Tarik Jasare­vic said the vac­cine will be re­served for peo­ple sus­pected of com­ing into con­tact with the dis­ease, and that a sec­ond batch of 4,000 doses would be sent in the com­ing days.

“In our ex­pe­ri­ence, for each con­firmed case of Ebola there are about 100-150 con­tacts and con­tacts of con­tacts el­i­gi­ble for vac­ci­na­tion,” Jasare­vic said.

Full story @ time­so­fo­

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