Ebola vaccinations in eastern Congo due to begin on Wednesday

Wednesday, 2018-08-08 04:11:00
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A World Health Organization (WHO) worker prepares to administer a vaccination (Photo: Reuters)
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Vaccinations against a new outbreak of Ebola virus in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are due to begin on August 8, a senior official at the health ministry has said.

As with the previous outbreak, vaccination will focus on health workers and people who have come into contact with confirmed cases of the disease, said Barthe Ndjoloko, who oversees the health ministry’s Ebola response.

Health workers in Congo were setting up refrigerators on Monday to keep cool an Ebola vaccine needed to tackle an outbreak suspected to have infected 43 people, the health ministry said.

Giving the latest figures on the epidemic, which was declared just days after an outbreak in northwestern Congo 2,500 miles away was declared over, the ministry said of the 43 suspected cases, 16 were now confirmed. There were three new cases confirmed and four new deaths, as of Monday, it said.

The experimental vaccine, which is manufactured by Merck, proved successful during its first wide-scale usage against the outbreak in the northwest.

More than 3,000 doses remain in stock in the capital Kinshasa, allowing authorities to quickly deploy it to the affected areas near the Ugandan border.