A second Ebola vaccine will be offered to approximately 50,000 people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in a large clinical trial.
The Johnson & Johnson (J & J) vaccine is used with a Merck-made vaccine
Merck's Sting has now been approved by the World Health Organization.
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WHO's approval of the Merck single-dose vaccine is based on its belief in its safety and efficacy. The European Commission has also approved the vaccine.
J & J's vaccine, which requires two doses 56 days apart, will be available to adults and children from a dose living in two areas of the DR Congo city of Goma where there are none active transmission of the deadly disease.
Goma, with one million inhabitants, is located on the border with Rwanda and has a large international airport.
Prof. Daniel Bausch, director of the UK Public Health Rapid Support Team, is one of the leading scientists in the process.
He said there was "no competition" between the two vaccines, and both had their pros and cons.
Mercks administered to those who come into direct and indirect contact with an Ebola patient could best be used in the middle of an outbreak – while the J & J vaccine could be used to protect people who have not yet exposed Ebola.
Prof. Bausch said, "The J & J vaccine is not ideal for an outbreak, especially because two doses are required to ensure optimal immunity."
But he said The vaccine "can provide longer term immunity and be associated with fewer side effects than a live virus vaccine like the Merck vaccine".
The number of new cases of the Ebola outbreak in the DR Congo has fallen significantly since its inception in the spring, but there are still around 20 new infections reported each week.
Dr. Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, which contributes to the funding of the J & J study, was a "decisive step forward".
"Earlier studies have shown that the J & J vaccine elicits an immune response, a good indication of which protects against the Ebola virus."
Dr. Eteni Longondo, Minister of Public Health in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, said: "We need to intensify our efforts, so we are working with international partners to provide our response teams with another tool to fight and improve security." ultimately stop the spread of this terrible disease.
The outbreak has been fueled by misinformation and rumors, as well as an extremely difficult security situation.
Around 200 health facilities have been under attack since the outbreak in August 2018. The introduction of a new vaccine in already skeptical circles is therefore an important task.
Immunization teams from the medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) will administer the vaccine.
John Johnson, MSF's project manager for Ebola vaccines, said, "The use of two different vaccines in nearby areas can lead to misunderstandings This commitment by the Community will be crucial before and during the launch of the second test vaccine. "