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WHO approves Ervebo, the world's first Ebola vaccine

Democratic Republic Of Congo

<p>The World Health Organization (<span class="caps">WHO</span>) on Tuesday approved a historic vaccine to combat Ebola virus.</p> <p>The drug called, Ervebo and manufactured by <span class="caps">MERCK</span> pharmaceuticals had until now been used in the Democratic Republic of Congo, <span class="caps">DRC</span>, as an experimental vaccine to the latest outbreak in the country’s east. </p> <p>The global health outfit said there is sufficient evidence that shows that the vaccine is effective. Ervebo effectively becomes the world’s first ever drug aimed at prevention of Ebola.</p> <p>According to standards, a <span class="caps">WHO</span> prequalification is granted to a trial medication only after a drug passes important safety and efficacy tests.</p> <p>Experts have hailed the development as a crucial step that will accelerate access to and deployment in countries most exposed to Ebola epidemics.</p> <p>The announcement follows the European Commission’s decision on Monday to authorise the marketing of this vaccine manufactured by the US laboratory Merck Sharpe and Dohme (<span class="caps">MSD</span>).</p> <p>Now, the various UN agencies and the Gavi Vaccination Alliance can obtain the vaccine “for countries at risk”.</p> <p>Since the beginning of the epidemic in the <span class="caps">DRC</span>, which has killed some 2,190 out of more than 3,290 cases, over 236,000 people have been vaccinated with the first vaccine, according to <span class="caps">WHO</span>, including 60,000 health professionals.</p> <p>A second vaccine, still experimental and developed by Johnson & Johnson, administered in two doses 56 days apart, is to be introduced in mid-November in areas where the virus is absent.</p>
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