Ebola Vaccinations Start in Africa
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) today announced a new Ebola vaccination program in Mbandaka to halt the spread of the virus following an outbreak that has claimed two lives since April 21, 2022.
On April 27, 2022, about 200 doses of Merck's Ervebo (rVSV-ZEBOV) Ebola vaccine were shipped to Mbandaka, the capital city of Equateur Province.
Ervebo is the first Ebola vaccine licensed by the U.S. FDA.
Ervebo's active ingredient is Vesicular Stomatitis Virus, in which its surface protein has been replaced with that of Zaire ebola virus disease (EVD).
People cannot get EVD from the Ervebo vaccine.
The vaccination program uses the “ring strategy” where the contacts and the contacts of contacts of confirmed EVD patients are given the Ebola vaccine as well as frontline and health workers.
So far, 233 contacts have been identified and are being monitored.
“With effective vaccines at hand and the experience of the DRC health workers in Ebola response, we can quickly change the course of this outbreak for the better,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, in a related press release.
The country’s National Institute for Biomedical Research has completed an analysis of a sample from the first confirmed case, which shows that the new outbreak indicates a new spill-over event from the host or animal reservoir.
The DRC has experienced 14 Ebola outbreaks since 1976.
Additional Ebola outbreak news is posted at Vax-Before-Travel.com/Ebola.
According to the latest U.S. CDC's travel information (Apr 18, 2022), the DRC is confronted with Covid-19, polio, and monkeypox outbreaks.
Note: The WHO announcement was edited for clarity and manually curated for mobile readership.