Countries: Ghana, Zambia, Burundi and The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have licensed an Ebola Vaccine. Additional countries are expected to register within the next few weeks. Licensing of the vaccine means the manufacturer can stock and distribute this vaccine to the countries at risk of the Ebola virus in Africa. Once licensed doses are readily available, use of the vaccine will not require clinical trials or other research procedures. “The approval of the Ebola vaccine by these countries is another milestone in the fight against this unforgiving disease,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Africa has rallied to cement hard-fought progress to keep its people safe from Ebola.”
WHO pushed the licensing of the Ebola vaccine by ensuring that it met the organization’s standards for safety, quality and efficacy. “The rapid approval of the Ebola vaccine by countries in the Africa Region helps ensure this critical prevention tool will be available when and where it is needed most,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “This kind of collaboration and innovation is a model for other health priorities.”
The Ebola vaccine, Ervebo is manufactured by Merck. Initial studies have shown a 97.5% vaccine efficacy. Data demonstrates that vaccinating people who are infected, reduces their chances of death. Over 290,000 individuals have been vaccinated under the proper protocols. Once licensed doses are distributed, the use of the vaccine in the DRC will no longer require these protocols.