Health authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have this week announced plans to introduce a second experimental ebola vaccine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The vaccine, which is given as a two-dose course, 56 days apart, will be provided under approved protocols to targeted at-risk populations in areas that do not have active ebola transmission as an additional tool to extend protection against the virus.
The World Health Organization (WHO) say the vaccine, which is manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, will complement the current vaccine (rVSV-ZEBOV-GP, manufactured by Merck), which has proven highly effective and safe.
To date more than 223,000 thousand people have received the rVSV-ZEBOV-GP vaccine and the WHO say it will continue to be provided to all people at high risk of ebola infection including those who have been in contact with a person confirmed to have ebola, all contacts of contacts, and others determined to be at high risk of contracting ebola.
Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa said the evaluation of the second ebola vaccine will help ensure “we have potentially an additional tool to prevent the expansion of the outbreak and also a potential tool to protect populations before outbreaks hit areas at risk.”