DR Congo, 3 Other African Nations Issue Licenses For New Ebola Vaccine - WHO

DR Congo, 3 Other African Nations Issue Licenses for New Ebola Vaccine - WHO

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 15th February, 2020) The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi, Ghana and Zambia licensed an Ebola vaccine that has proved 97 percent effective in preventing the deadly disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a press release on Friday.

"The licensing of the vaccine means that the manufacturer can stockpile and widely distribute this vaccine to African countries at risk of Ebola virus disease outbreaks. Once licensed doses are available, use of the vaccine will not require clinical trial or other research protocols," the release said.

WHO accelerated the licensing and roll-out of the Ebola vaccine amid an epidemic in the DRC by certifying that it met the organization's standards for quality, safety and efficacy in its fastest vaccine prequalification process ever, the release added.

Licensing of the vaccine is expected in additional countries in the coming weeks, the release said also noting that the preliminary study results have shown a 97.5 percent vaccine efficacy. Data also suggests that vaccinating people who are already infected reduces their chances of dying.

As of February 4, a total of 3,429 Ebola cases, of which 2,251 people died - a mortality rate of 66 percent - represents the second deadliest outbreak of the disease that causes massive internal bleeding, according to the latest WHO situation report.

A 2014-16 outbreak in West Africa infected 28,616 people, of which 11,310 died, according to the WHO.

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