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Yellow fever vaccination in DRC continues despite deadline

Democratic Republic Of Congo

A vaccination campaign against yellow fever in Congo’s capital Kinshasa is almost complete, but the gains may be reversed by the looming rainy season and the spread of the disease to areas where people have not yet been vaccinated, the World Health Organization said on Friday.

Although the campaign wrapped up on Friday, the WHO’s spokesman in the DRC, Eugene Kabambi said health workers will continue over the coming days to seek out individuals they missed.

Health officials began a campaign to vaccinate 7.5 million people in Kinshasa last week to combat the worst outbreak in decades of the hemorrhagic virus. More than 400 people have died in Congo and neighboring Angola since December.

Health authorities aim to vaccinate some 14 million people in the two countries by the end of August to halt the spread of the disease before the rainy season sets in next month.

The WHO said as of Thursday, 6,925,276 people, or 91.3 percent of the target population, in Kinshasa had been vaccinated in the latest campaign.

About 2 million people were vaccinated in Kinshasa during campaigns in May and July.

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