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4K Doses Of Experimental Ebola Vaccine Arrive In Congo As Number Of Possible Cases Rises To 41

CIDRAP News: DRC Ebola total grows by 2; use of new antiviral weighed
“…[I]nitial talks are under way about possibly using experimental antivirals for treating sick patients, and new information about the initial outbreak cluster and the tough conditions responders face were revealed in a situation report [Monday] from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). … Peter Salama, MBBS, MPH, WHO deputy director general for emergency preparedness and response, said two more probable cases have been reported in the outbreak, raising the overall total to 41, which includes two confirmed cases, along with 22 probable and 17 suspected infections…” (Schnirring, 5/15).

CNBC: The world is more galvanized to tackle this Ebola outbreak, FDA chief says
“Health officials are in a different position to respond to the current Ebola outbreak than they were during the last one, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CNBC’s ‘Squawk Box’ on Tuesday…” (LaVito, 5/15).

NPR: Can The New Ebola Vaccine Stop The Latest Outbreak?
“…In hopes of curbing the spread, global health officials are launching a vaccination campaign. Four thousand doses of [an experimental] vaccine have been shipped to the DRC — with another 4,000 to follow soon. The World Health Organization is coordinating the vaccination effort…” (Aizenman, 5/15).

Reuters: Congo receives first doses of Ebola vaccine amid outbreak
“…The vaccine, developed by Merck and sent from Europe by the World Health Organization, is still not licensed but proved effective during limited trials in West Africa in the biggest-ever outbreak of Ebola, which killed 11,300 people in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone from 2014-2016. Health officials hope they can use it to contain the latest outbreak in northwest Democratic Republic of Congo which the WHO believes has so far killed 20 people since April…” (Mwarabu et al., 5/16).

Science: Hoping to head off an epidemic, Congo turns to experimental Ebola vaccine
“…MSF will sponsor the trial in collaboration with investigators from the DRC’s health ministry. The team will follow vaccinated people for 84 days to assess whether any develop Ebola and to evaluate side effects. The vaccine is but one of many tools being wielded to stop the outbreak as quickly as possible. All told, Gavi, WHO, the United Nations, and the Wellcome Trust have committed about $8 million to the DRC response…” (Cohen, 5/15).

STAT: As Ebola flares once again, a rapid global response invites cautious hope
“… ‘I think the response so far has been impressive,’ said Tom Inglesby, director of the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health. … Ron Klain, who served as President Obama’s Ebola czar during the West African outbreak and who has been critical of the WHO, is among those urging a wait-and-see approach…” (Branswell, 5/15).

Wall Street Journal: Ebola Vaccine Headed to Congo to Help Contain Outbreak
“…GlaxoSmithKline PLC, the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and Johnson & Johnson are among other entities developing other Ebola vaccines. A J&J spokeswoman said the company is maintaining a stockpile of two million dosing regimens of its experimental Ebola vaccine, and is ready to provide them whenever needed. A spokesman for GSK, which co-developed a vaccine with the NIH, said it has stockpiled doses and is closely monitoring the situation…” (Loftus et al., 5/15).

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