Safeguarding Against Ebola: Vaccination Provides Best Fighting Chance

5 mins read

There is nothing distressing than watching the increasing number of deaths due to Ebola. The Ebola virus outbreak of 2014 and 2016 had devastating consequences on the people of Africa. In the quest of saving lives and convincing people not to panic in such difficult times, several pharmaceutical companies have launched new therapeutics vaccines.

In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) is helping in every way to control the outbreak of Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where the outbreak has transfixed the global health community. On the other hand, the relentless efforts of WHO and other pharmaceutical companies have offered healthcare workers several vaccines to fight against Ebola.

According to Allied Market Research, the pharmaceutical companies have lucrative opportunities in the Ebola therapeutics vaccines market owing to unavailability of effective treatment options in the market.

Experimental Drugs to Eradicate Ebola

The DRC is seeking approval to treat patients and workers with experimental drugs. Three vaccines, namely ZMapp, favipiravir, and GS-5734 were used during the outbreak 2014–2016 in West Africa. These drugs are being considered as an addition to the existing approach to deploy an experimental vaccine. It may take weeks or months to greenlight the use of experimental treatments, but public-health officials stated that it could happen more quickly given the gravity of the situation.

In 2017’s outbreak, DRC had allowed the use of experimental Ebola vaccines, although the outbreak ended before the vaccine could be shipped. Therefore, the government has approved the shipment of 4,000 doses of vaccine earlier this month, which were expected to use as an emergency solution to treat the Ebola outbreak.

Vaccination Programs

For the first time since the outbreak of Ebola, healthcare workers have been using a vaccine, rVSV-ZEBOV, to help people at risk of infection. In May 2018, DRC planned to launch Ebola vaccination program to prevent widespread outbreak of Ebola.

More than 40,000 doses of vaccine had been shipped to Mbandaka, a city with a population of around 1.2 million, where outbreak of this virus had been confirmed. The first wave of immunizations targeted the healthcare staff of Africa who were in either direct or indirect contact with the infected people.

The WHO has dispatched more than 30 immunization experts, as well as 7,500 doses of the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine to control the disease. According to a DRC government spokesperson, the additional donor had promised 300,000 doses of the vaccine, of which 5,400 have already been received.

So far, the Ebola outbreak has killed more than 77 people in Congo’s North Kivu and Ituri and 15 of them health workers. However, recently WHO reported that the controlling measures taken against Ebola seem to be working, but substantial risk will remain.

The WHO released a statement stating, “Substantial risk will remain owing to undocumented chains of transmission. However, the recent trends suggest that the control measures are working. However, there are several risk factors including unsafe burial practices, people’s reluctance to accept vaccination, and poor standards in healthcare centers, which increase the death toll.”

Recently, the Ministry of Public Health of the DRC announced the launch of Ebola vaccination program for the high-risk populations in North Kivu province. The program has begun after the second outbreak of Ebola, in which 44 cases of Ebola were reported and 17 have been confirmed. Dr. Oly Ilunga, Minister of Health of the DRC, stated, “Vaccines play an important role in fighting against Ebola. Thus, it has been imperative to treat infected patients with available medicines and vaccines.”

About the Author

Nisha Dodeja, is a keynote senior consultant on digital marketing at Progressive Markets. She has been recognized for developing a robust social network strategy for the company. Nisha has written several whitepapers, case studies, and articles. She is a visiting faculty member at various educational institutions and has expertise in Healthcare.

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