Congo approves new Ebola vaccine

J&J advances investigational Ebola vaccine regimen
Credit: Shutterstock.com/ jading

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has approved a new Ebola vaccine to counter an outbreak in its northeast that has killed four people.

The vaccine – known as rVSV-ZEBOV and developed by Merck – is not currently licensed but was shown to be highly protective against Ebola in clinical trials published last December.

DRC had registered 52 total suspected cases, including two that have been confirmed, according to a spokesperson from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Details of the vaccination campaign are believed to be announced after a meeting of the health ministry and its partners.

WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic said in Geneva that vaccination would be deployed “should an EVD (Ebola virus disease) laboratory confirmed case be identified outside already defined chains of transmission”.

In that case, it would be offered “to contacts and contacts of contacts of a confirmed EVD case, including health care workers and field laboratory Workers”, Jasarevic said.