As per the latest announcement of the WHO, the DRC will use the second vaccine, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. Officials aim to deploy an experimental Ebola vaccine to cure threatened populations in the sectors that do not have active transmission of Ebola. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has a year-long struggle with the virus. Thus the vaccine might assist the country to carb the highly contagious disease. Currently, the DRC is using Merck-manufactured rVSV-ZEBOV-GP to safeguard people at high risk of contracting Ebola. Also, doctors are offering the vaccine to people who have been in direct or indirect contact with an Ebola patient. More than 2,23,000 people have received the primary vaccine to fight against Ebola.
Now another vaccine is joining the fleet of Merck’s product. As per the WHO, the second Ebola vaccine consists of two doses with a period of 56 days. Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s Regional Director for Africa, said they would prefer offering the vaccine in areas that do not have an active Ebola contraction. But they will include the regions which are at risk. Before this, the Merck vaccination has offered beneficial outcomes and has protected people exposed to risk. Thus the officials surmise the second Ebola vaccine will assist in broadening that protection. Until now, Merck has deployed around 2,45,000 vaccine shots in the DRC and neighboring countries. Even more, it is set to deliver a lot of another 1,90,000 shots.
The main concern in deploying the second experimental vaccine is it could be difficult to dispense logistically, due to 2 doses. Although, the introduction of a second vaccine has raised controversies among DRC’s health officials. Oly Ilunga, Former Health Minister, has resigned after opposing the second vaccine. Also, he has criticized the strong pressure imposed on him for opting the J&J vaccine. As per the executive, they are unsure about the effectiveness of the vaccine. Even more, it could mislead local communities who already have mistrusts over Ebola. Whereas, the Merck vaccine has proven its effectiveness up to 98%, and needs only one shot.