On Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Congo will opt for a second Ebola vaccine. Since arrival, the highly contagious virus has killed more than 2,000 people in the nation. On the other hand, the vaccine, a product of Johnson & Johnson, is available on a trial basis. Still, the DRC will start using the vaccine, from mid-October, in order to carb the fatal Ebola epidemic. Whereas, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) have criticized the move.
The second Ebola vaccine includes a 2-dose course between a period of 56 days. Officials will offer the vaccine under an authorized protocol to the risk-prone communities. They will mainly target the regions which do not have active Ebola circulation as a precautionary step to broaden protection against the virus. WHO’s Regional Director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti noted the second vaccine would assist verify they have likely an add-on tool. Even more, it will work as a feasible tool to secure populations before the illness strikes in areas at risk.
The ongoing Ebola epidemic started last year in August. It is the second-biggest and most terrible outbreak in the history of the DRC. Between 2014 and 2016, the virus has taken lives of more than 11,000 people in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. As per WHO’s latest report, more than 3,000 cases of Ebola have emerged in the DRC since August 2018. Thus the DRC has declared the Ebola outbreak a public health emergency of global concern.
Currently, the use of Johnson & Johnson manufactured experimental vaccine is facing controversies. The argument is between global health officials and Congo’s Ex-Health Minister Dr. Oly Illunga. The executive has resigned the post because of his denial to use the vaccine. Dr. Oly has refused to opt for the second Ebola vaccine because of insufficient testing. He has criticized the intense pressure imposed in the past few months for using the J&J vaccine. Apart from this, Doctors Without Borders are looking self-reliant committee to supervise the efforts of Ebola vaccination.