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WHO gets approval to use Ebola vaccine in DRC

The DRC has reported 39 suspected, probable or confirmed cases of Ebola between 4 April and 13 May, including 19 deaths.

A healthcare worker in the Democratic Republic of Congo at a Ebola treatment facility. Picture: @WHOAFRO/Twitter.

GENEVA - The World Health Organization has a green light from Democratic Republic of Congo to import and use an experimental Ebola vaccine in the country, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters on Monday.

“We have agreement, registration, plus import permit, everything formally agreed already,” Tedros said. “All is ready now to really use it,” he said, adding that the Congolese government deserved praise for its response to the outbreak.

According to the WHO, the DRC reported 39 suspected, probable or confirmed cases of Ebola between 4 April and 13 May, including 19 deaths. The world health body said 393 people who identified as contacts of Ebola patients were being followed up.

At present the outbreak did not meet the criteria for declaring a “public health event of international concern”, which would trigger the formation of an emergency WHO committee.