WHO arranging to send experimental Ebola vaccine to Democratic Republic of Congo

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The World Health Organization and outside experts are making arrangements to send an experimental Ebola vaccine to the Democratic Republic of Congo, should officials there say they need it to quell an outbreak there.

The DRC has not yet formally requested the vaccine, and it’s unclear if or when it will. The country’s drug regulatory agency would also have to authorize emergency use of the vaccine, which is not yet licensed.

But the WHO and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, told STAT that preparations to have the experimental vaccine ready for use are being made on a parallel track with investigations in DRC into the scale of the outbreak.

The outbreak, reported to the WHO last week, has grown to 20 suspected cases. Three of the infected have died.

This Ebola epidemic, the country’s eighth, is in a remote part of northern DCR, a province called Bas-Uele. It is a part of the country with few roads, which should help contain the epidemic. The three previous Ebola outbreaks in DRC involved dozens of cases as opposed to hundreds or thousands.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original: WHO prepares experimental Ebola vaccine for possible first use in Democratic Republic of Congo