Government of Uganda has secured 2,100 doses of an Ebola vaccine intended to safeguard health workers against the Ebola outbreak from neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.
Addressing the media, the Minister of Health Dr Jane Ruth Aceng confirmed vaccination will begin next week on Monday focusing on frontline health workers.
With the introduction of the vaccine Uganda is to become the first country in the world to give a vaccine against Ebola without experiencing an active outbreak. The country’s health authorities along with the World Health Organization have taken the decision because of the threat of the spread of Ebola from neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.
Uganda will start the Ebola vaccination rVSV.
With the virus just 100 KM from the Uganda border, health workers in the five districts of Kabarole, Bunyangabo, Kasese, Bundibugyo, Hoima, Arua and Ntoroko will be receiving the vaccine.
According to the World Health Organization country representative Dr Yonas Tegegn the Recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus–Zaire Ebola virus (rVSV-ZEBOV) has been proven to have a higher efficacy rate.
Apparently government is now soliciting for 900 more doses of the rVSV-ZEBOV to be able to vaccinate over 1000 front line health workers
Uganda hopes WHO will give the country extra doses.
The vaccine comes in as a donation from Merck Group and yet to be costed
Vaccination teams have been deployed in the west, close to the border, to start work in the five most-at-risk districts. Uganda has already been taking other measures such as the screening of people crossing at some border points.
Uganda last experienced an Ebola outbreak in 2000, killing over 200 people.
Since the August 2018 Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo, the disease has claimed 180 lives with 250 conformed cases.