& # 39; The world's first Ebola vaccine is lit green by European drug regulators after it showed 90% survival rates in a clinical trial in Congo
- The so-called Merk vaccine was approved on Friday afternoon and was praised as a triumph
- It was already used under the emergency guidelines in Congo during an outbreak
An Ebola vaccine has been approved by European drug regulators in a movement praised as a & # 39; public health victory & # 39 ;.
The so-called Merk vaccine received the green light this afternoon and will probably receive a full marketing authorization from the European Commission within a few weeks.
It is already being used under emergency guidelines to try and stop the deadly outbreak that is currently destroying the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The vaccine, developed by the American drug producer Merck & Co, is also assessed by a regulator in America under a fast-track system.
An Ebola vaccine was approved on Friday by European drug regulators in what is praised as a & # 39; public health triumph & # 39; (file)
The World Health Organization (WHO) said that progress made a & # 39; public health triumph & # 39; who would save many lives.
& # 39; This vaccine has already saved many lives in the current Ebola outbreak, and the decision of the European regulator will ultimately help to save many more & # 39 ;, said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a statement.
The Ebola outbreak in Congo has killed more than 2,100 people since the middle of last year. It is the second largest Ebola outbreak in history, following an epidemic in 2013-16 in West Africa that killed more than 11,300.
The Merck vaccine, which the company now has the Ervebo brand, will probably receive a full marketing authorization from the European Commission within a few weeks.
Merck said in a statement that his priority now was to get regulatory approval from his Ervebo production site in Germany, so that the licensed delivery of the vaccine can be used to support global public health preparedness. 39 ;.
Health authorities in Kinshasa said last week that they were planning to introduce an experimental second Ebola vaccine, developed by drug maker Johnson & Johnson, in the eastern provinces of the country in November.
Ebola virus causes haemorrhagic fever and spreads from person to person through direct contact with body fluids. It kills around half of those who infect it.
There are currently no recognized treatments for the deadly infection, but scientists said they were a step closer to healing in August after two experimental drugs demonstrated chances of a whopping 90% survival in a clinical trial in Congo. (Reporting and writing by Kate Kelland in London, additional reporting by Pushkala Aripaka and Aakash Jagadeesh Babu in Bengaluru, editing by Mark Potter)
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