PHARMACY

Report: Merck’s experimental Ebola vaccine to be used amid Congo outbreak

BY Sandra Levy

Merck’s experimental vaccine is slated to be used today against a new outbreak of Ebola virus in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, according to a Reuters report.

The vaccine was deployed during its first wide-scale usage against an outbreak in northwestern Congo that was declared over less than two weeks ago.

More than 3,000 doses remain in stock in the capital Kinshasa, enabling authorities to quickly get it to the affected areas near the Ugandan border, said the report.

The vaccination will be administered to health workers and other people who come in contact with confirmed cases of the disease, Barthe Ndjoloko, who oversees the health ministry’s Ebola response, told Reuters.

“Teams are conducting investigations on the ground to identify the contacts of the confirmed cases, including health workers,” Ndjoloko reportedly said in the town of Beni.

Health workers are ensuring that the vaccine is kept well below zero by creating a so-called cold chain, given that in this tropical climate there aren’t reliable power supplies, according to the report.

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