Issued on: Modified:
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 staff overseeing Congo‘s Ebola response didn’t say when precisely the J&J vaccine can be launched. It’ll complement one other vaccine manufactured by Merck, which has been administered to greater than 225,00zero folks 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 staff mentioned the vaccine was secure and famous that it was already being trialled in neighbouring Uganda and within the West African nation of Guinea.
“It’s a vaccine that different nations already use. Why cannot we use it in Congo to guard our inhabitants?” the assertion mentioned.
The assertion mentioned well being officers supposed to begin by providing the J&J vaccine to Congolese merchants who cross into Rwanda after which to residents of the province neighbouring the epicentre of the outbreak “to create a hall of immunised folks”.
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 folks for the reason that center of final 12 months, second solely to the 2013-16 outbreak in West Africa that killed greater than 11,300.