Everything You Need to Know about the Ebola Vaccine

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By Dina Fine Maron

The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) just got worse. In what the World Health Organization’s top response official is calling a “game changer” event, one case has now been confirmed in Mbandaka—a city of 1.2 million people about 150 kilometers from the rural rainforest area where the other confirmed Ebola cases have been found.

The country has been grappling with 44 reported cases, three of which have been confirmed. Another 20 of these cases have been categorized as probable, and 21 are suspected. At least 23 of these individuals have died, according to the latest WHO figures.

The Geneva-based Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, a public-private partnership that has purchased 300,000 doses of the experimental Ebola vaccine for an emergency stockpile, has already committed funding to deploy thousands of doses during this outbreak. This Merck-produced vaccine has been through clinical trials but is not yet licensed by any health authority. The DRC government, however, approved its deployment under what are known as compassionate-use regulations.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. While still experimental and less than 100% effective, with a current African Ebola outbreak, starting with vaccinations of medical staff and having available supplies, is timely!

  2. However, despite the efforts of science and vaccine developers, the god-deluded are making their usual contribution of counter-productive superstitious stupidity!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-44229346

    Three Ebola patients left a treatment centre in the Democratic Republic of Congo after their families demanded to take them to church, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

    Two of the patients later died, while the third returned to the centre in the city of Mbandaka.

    This presents a new challenge for health workers battling to stop the spread of the contagious disease, says the BBC’s Anne Soy in DR Congo.

    Ebola has no known cure.

    Health officials fear it could spread rapidly in Mbandaka, a densely populated city of one million.

    Isolation is the main way to keep the disease under control.

    The patients’ relatives came to the centre, which is run by medical aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), and demanded to take them for prayers, WHO officer Eugéne Kabambi told the BBC.

    They were reportedly taken away on motorbikes and a search was ordered by the police.

    One patient was found dead at home and his body was returned to the hospital for a safe burial. The other was sent back to hospital on 22 May and died that evening, according to MSF.

    Efforts were made by staff to convince the patients not to leave and continue treatment, MSF says.

    “However, forced hospitalisation is not the solution to this epidemic. Patient adherence is paramount,” it said in a statement.

    The families of the three patients are now being monitored and some of them have been vaccinated against the disease.

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