EBOLA in Africa

Cote d’Ivoire Launches Ebola Vaccination of High-risk Populations

The World Health Organisation, (WHO) says Cote d’Ivoire has launched Ebola vaccination of high-risk populations, including health workers and first responders in Abidjan, where an Ebola outbreak was declared on August 14.

In a statement made available to our correspondent by Media and Communications Specialist at WHO, Warigon Charity, it was noted that Cote d’Ivoire was able to swiftly begin the vaccination on 16 August with the rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccine manufactured by Merck.

The vaccine doses which were said be have been secured by the WHO to fight a four-month long outbreak in Guinea, were sent quickly by Guinea to Cote d’Ivoire.

it was further explained that the vaccine deployment from Guinea include 2000 doses from Merck that are being used under the “ring strategy” where people who have come into contact with a confirmed Ebola patient are given, as well as first responders and health workers.

In addition, Guinea sent around 3000 vaccine doses manufactured by Johnson & Johnson which are to be used to boost the vaccination in areas not experiencing active transmission.

Guinea is said to have also deployed five vaccination experts and provided monoclonal antibody treatments to Cote d’Ivoire.

WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti was quoted as saying that “The Ebola vaccine is a critical tool in the fight against the virus and so it’s a top priority to move rapidly and start protecting people at high risk of the disease, as he emphasised that the speed with which Cote d’Ivoire has ramped up vaccination is remarkable and shows that with effective sub-regional solidarity.

“We can quickly take measures to extinguish lethal infections that can potentially flare up into large outbreaks”.

Meanwhile in addition to the confirmed case, one suspected case and nine contacts have been identified and are being monitored, with no deaths reported so far.

The statement also clarified that there is no indication yet that the current outbreak in Cote d’Ivoire is linked with the one that was in Guinea, as further analysis and genomic sequencing will help determine any connection.

To support Cote d’Ivoire’s efforts to control the outbreak, the first since 1994, WHO says it is deploying experts to join their country-based counterparts to help ramp up infection prevention and control, diagnostics, contact tracing, treatment, community mobilization and cross-border surveillance.

The Organization also stated that it is assessing whether additional vaccines will be needed to curb the disease.

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