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Uganda to receive Ebola trial vaccine from Merck as cases climb

Umamah Bakharia ub@radioislam.co.za

2 min read
15 November 2022 | 12:00 CAT

Global pharmaceutical giant Merck says it’s ready to ship 100,000 doses of an experimental vaccine to assist Uganda in its fight against the Ebola outbreak.

 

Photo credit: Carlifornia18

 

Previously, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ugandan government discussed how these doses would be incorporated to fight the virus.

Speaking to Radio Islam International live from Hawaii, Merck’s executive director of global clinic development, Beth-Ann Coller, says the vaccine is still investigational and has not been tested on humans.

“They have not been tested previously in humans – they have been tested in animal levels, and the data from animals suggest they may be highly effective,” she says.

Health authorities confirmed that the current outbreak in Uganda is linked to the Sudan strain of the virus, which is less transmissible and less deadly than the 2019 Zaire strain of ebola.

“WHO is consulting with [Merck] experts, with the country, with the minister of health officials in Uganda to have advice on the best way to consider the use of this investigational vaccine,” says Coller.

According to Coller, Ebola is “a deadly disease – it is spread by human-to-human contact or contact with contaminated materials that has been in contact with body fluids.”

Uganda has reported approximately 136 confirmed cases and 53 deaths since the hemorrhagic fever were detected in mid-September.

The disease has spread across nine districts, including the capital Kampala – an international hub with roughly two million people.

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