Congo to start using J&J Ebola vaccine in November

by Reuters
Sunday, 13 October 2019 14:15 GMT

A child reacts as a health worker injects her with the Ebola vaccine, in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, August 5, 2019. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

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Inoculations will start in Goma before being extended to other provinces

KINSHASA, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Health authorities in Democratic Republic of Congo will introduce a Johnson & Johnson Ebola vaccine in November in the country's eastern provinces, to counter the current outbreak, they said.

The J&J vaccine will complement another vaccine manufactured by Merck, which has been administered to more than 225,000 people. It requires two injections eight weeks apart, unlike the Merck vaccine, which requires a single shot.

A first batch of 500,000 doses of the J&J vaccine should arrive in Congo next week, the authorities said in a statement. The inoculation process will start in Goma in early November and then be extended to other provinces.

Congolese health authorities had announced the deployment of the vaccine last month, but had not specified when the campaign will take place.

Since it first started in August 2018, the Ebola outbreak has killed more than 2,100 people, second only to the 2013-16 outbreak in West Africa that killed more than 11,300.

(Reporting by Fiston Mahamba; Writing by Juliette Jabkhiro; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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