Experts Express Hope Experimental Ebola Vaccinations Could Mark Turning Point In Efforts To Stop Disease’s Spread In DRC

Associated Press: Congo announces 6 new confirmed cases of Ebola virus
“Congo’s health ministry has announced six new confirmed cases of the Ebola virus and two new suspected cases while a vaccination effort enters its second day. … The health ministry says there are now 28 confirmed Ebola cases, 21 probable ones and two suspected. The death toll stands at 27…” (5/22).

NPR: Experimental Ebola Vaccinations, Considered ‘Paradigm Shift,’ Begin In Congo
“Health workers have unsheathed their experimental new weapon against the Ebola virus in the northwest reaches of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. On Monday, the World Health Organization, together with local and international partners, began administering Ebola vaccinations in the region…” (Dwyer, 5/21).

Reuters: First Ebola vaccines given as WHO seeks to beat Congo outbreak
“…Use of the VSV-EBOV shot — an experimental vaccine developed by Merck — marks a ‘paradigm shift’ in how to fight Ebola, said the World Health Organization’s head of emergency response, and means regions with Ebola outbreaks can in future expect more than just containment of an outbreak with basic public health measures such as isolation and hygiene…” (Kelland, 5/21).

Wall Street Journal: Ebola Vaccination Begins in Democratic Republic of Congo
“…The vaccine is being administered for the first time since it showed promising results two years ago in Guinea, in the final stages of an Ebola epidemic that killed more than 11,300 people across West Africa. If it proves effective in Congo, the vaccine could permanently alter how the world responds to the virus, which is passed on through bodily fluids such as saliva or blood…” (Bariyo, 5/21).

Additional coverage of the Ebola vaccination campaign and other aspects of the Congo outbreak are available from The AtlanticBloomberg, CIDRAP News, The Hill, Mother JonesPBS NewsHour, Reuters, STAT, and Wired.

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