Amid concerns about the novel Coronavirus that is wreaking havoc in China, WHO has announced a new injectable Ebola vaccine. The Ebola outbreak in West Africa between 2012 and 2016 was the largest on record since the virus' discovery back in 1976. Since the outbreak, more than 28,600 cases and nearly 11,300 deaths were reported in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
According to recent reports, a study has found the new injectable Ebola vaccine called 'Ervebo' to be 98% effective. According to WHO, the vaccine can also greatly reduce the chances of death in those already affected by the disease. Reportedly, the vaccine has already been proven to be effective in protecting people from the Ebola Zaire virus.
The vaccine has been recommended by the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts. This new vaccine is a part of a broader set of tools used to combat Ebola. According to reports, the vaccine would not require 'clinical or other research protocols' and in the coming weeks, the vaccine will be registered in various African nations.
The vaccine is created by a company called Merck, known as MSD outside of the US and Canada. The WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a statement asked the world to once again commit to reaching zero Ebola cases. As per reports, the prequalification process for Ervebo has been the fastest so far because the vaccine was urgently needed. Pre-qualification means that the vaccine meets WHO's standards for quality, safety, and efficacy.
According to the WHO, conducting research on a deadly virus and attempting to contain it in an area of high security has been a real challenge. Reports indicate that medical teams have had to travel with an armed escort in areas such as northeast Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The North Kivu province is amongst DRC's most populated regions, with a population of eight million people. According to reports, thousands in the region have been displaced due to the fighting among armed groups. This has resulted in people attempting to flee the country into neighbouring countries, which poses an additional health risk.
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