The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday approved a historic vaccine to combat the Ebola virus that has led to numerous deaths in Africa.
The drug called, Ervebo and manufactured by MERCK pharmaceuticals had until now been used in the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, as an experimental vaccine to the latest outbreak in the country’s east.
The global health body said there is sufficient evidence that shows that the vaccine is effective. Ervebo effectively becomes the world’s first-ever drug aimed at the prevention of Ebola.
According to standards, a WHO prequalification is granted to a trial medication only after a drug passes important safety and efficacy tests.
Ervebo approved as the new Ebola vaccine
Experts have hailed the development as a crucial step that will accelerate access to and deployment in countries most exposed to Ebola epidemics.
The most exposed countries to ebola have been the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Gabon, Italy, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia among others.
The announcement follows the European Commission’s decision on Monday to authorize the marketing of this vaccine manufactured by the US laboratory Merck Sharpe and Dohme (MSD).
Now, the various UN agencies and the Gavi Vaccination Alliance can obtain the vaccine “for countries at risk”. Where the epidermic has been on a huge surge.
What you need to know about Merck, the company behind the Ebola vaccine.
Merck is an innovative, global healthcare company that delivers innovative health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and animal health products. Its also known for its commitment towards improving health and wellbeing around the world.
The global healthcare company’s core products include diabetes, cancer, vaccines and hospital acute care. It also focuses on research which looks at today’s most significant health challenges – like cancer, HIV, HPV, hepatitis C, cardio-metabolic disease, antibiotic-resistant infection and Alzheimer’s disease, and emerging global pandemics, such as Ebola.
Since the beginning of the epidemic in the DRC, which has killed some 2,190 out of more than 3,290 cases, over 236,000 people have been vaccinated with the first vaccine, according to WHO, including 60,000 health professionals.
A second vaccine, still experimental and developed by Johnson & Johnson, administered in two doses 56 days apart, is to be introduced in mid-November in areas where the virus is absent.
There has been major intent on combating Ebola which has killed several millions of people globally and was putting many nations on tension.
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Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is a freelance writer for Newslibre and Programs Manager at the Craft Silicon Foundation. He loves writing about sports, politics and news around the globe and Inspiring new young people!!