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DR Congo: New Ebola vaccine to be used in November

A new and second model of an Ebola vaccine is to be introduced in the Democratic Republic of Congo in November this year.

Health officials in the country say this is to help combat the spread of the deadly virus in the country’s eastern provinces.

The Johnson & Johnson manufactured vaccine will now be introduced to compliment that of Merck.

The Merck manufactured vaccine was introduced this year and administered to thousands of people.

A government statement said a first batch of 500,000 doses of the J&J vaccine should arrive in Congo before end of October.

But it will only be used in Goma in early November and then be extended to other provinces.

Unlike the Merck vaccine, which requires a single shot, the J&J vaccine requires two injections eight weeks apart.

Vaccine scandal

In September this year, a medical charity, Médecins Sans Frontières accused the World Health Organization (WHO) of rationing the Ebola vaccine in DR Congo.

The group said the global health body was not being transparent in its dealings when it comes to making vaccines accessible to people.

The charity group said the WHO was operating an opaque system relating to the vaccine supplies.

The World Health Organization has however denied the allegations, but said there have been shortages of the vaccine, manufactured by Merck.

220,000 people have been vaccinated with rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine produced by Merck that has shown very high levels of efficacy.

Officials in DR Congo say the country’s year-long Ebola outbreak has led to the death of at least 2,000.

According to government data the number of confirmed and probable cases has also hit a milestone of more than 3,000.

The worst epidemic was recorded between 2013-2016 in West Africa. More than 11,300 people died then out of 28,000 who were infected.


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