An experimental vaccine manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceutica is ready to be shipped to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the death toll from an Ebola outbreak surpassed 1,000 early this month. The World Health Organization (WHO) is seeking to increase vaccination considerably, and the vaccine would help replenish stocks and would be administered alongside a US vaccine.
While the WHO has already given the green light to the vaccine —of Belgian, Dutch and Danish manufacture— it must now be approved by Congolese authorities.
“We can supply vaccines for half a million people in the short term,” Janssen Pharmaceutica head Johan Van Hoof toldDe Standaard, adding that they were ready to provide support to employees but that, in light of the difficult conditions on the ground, it would make “no sense” to send personnel over.
The fight against the Ebola outbreak in the Congo is crippled by misinformation, regional violence and poor funding, and the WHO warned this monththat it could still spiral out of control and spread beyond the Congolese borders.