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Ebola Vaccines to be Used Sparingly Due to Global Shortage-WHO

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According to World Health Organization, only front line health workers will get the vaccine. The health body says the new measures are needed to ensure that the remaining stock of the vaccine is enough until more vaccines can be produced by Merck.
Shortage of Merck Ebola vaccine registered

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Only the people in danger of Ebola infection in Uganda will receive the Ebola Merck Vaccine rVSV ZEBOV, according to a Global shortage.   

According to World Health Organization, only front line health workers will get the vaccine. The health body says the new measures are needed to ensure that the remaining stock of the vaccine is enough until more vaccines can be produced by Merck.     

The Ebola Merck vaccine is one of the two experimental vaccines that have been developed to prevent Ebola infection. The vaccine was used in the 2014 West Africa Ebola outbreak and in the DRC outbreak. It is the only Ebola vaccine that has proved to be 97.5 percent effective in protecting people against Ebola.   

In July, Merck spokesperson, Pam Eisele revealed in a statement that the company had 245,000 1.0 Ml of the dose ready for shipment. The amount of the vaccine still in stock has not been disclosed by Merck. 

But the company is expected to produce an additional 450,000 next year to help with supply of the vaccine. At the moment the dosage of the vaccine has been reduced from 1.0 ml to 0.5 ml.

Dr. Yonas Tegegn Woldermariam from WHO says their biggest priority is making sure that the available vaccines are available for everyone who needs them. He says for this to happen, what is available has to be used sparingly.

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WHO imported 8200 doses of the vaccine to Uganda. So far, 8000 front line health workers, security personnel and people believed to have been into contact with confirmed Ebola cases have been immunized.   

 

The shortage of the vaccines comes at a time when the Ebola outbreak in the DRC is on the increase with over 2,700 cases reported. Over 200,000 people in DRC and its nine neighboring countries at risk have been vaccinated using the vaccine.

Dr. Woldermariam says the existing stock of the vaccine can be sufficient until next year when production of the next batch is expected if there's no other major outbreak.

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Dr. Woldermariam says despite the shortage of the vaccine, with the provision of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, no one would go without the vaccine. 

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Health officials in the DRC have been against its use.

The second experimental vaccine Ad26.ZEBOV/MVA-BN produced by Johnson & Johnson necessitates two doses compared to the one for the Merck vaccine. 

Human trials of the vaccine are currently being carried out by the Uganda Virus Research Institute