Canadian who helped design Ebola vaccine says there isn't enough to stop current outbreak in Congo
2019-07-08 from cbc.ca
As the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo nears the one-year mark, one of the Canadian scientists who helped design a vaccine for the deadly disease says there isn't enough of the precious preventive tool.
In 2016, the drugmaker Merck, which manufactures the vaccine, entered into an agreement with the Vaccine Alliance in Geneva to maintain a stockpile of 300,000 doses in case of an outbreak.
But "300,000 doses is not enough anymore," said microbiologist and researcher Gary Kobinger, who has been tracking the outbreak from the Centre for Research in Infectious Diseases at Laval University in Quebec City.
"You would need to reach a million, if not two million [people].
"You cannot just offer it and say, 'That's it, we're done, we don't have anything anymore.' You need to make sure you have enough to cover 100 per cent of the people if 100 per cent of the people ask for it."
Merck confirmed Friday that it met with the World Health Organization and the Vaccine Alliance in June to discuss supply concerns.
Merck spokesperson Skip Irvine said the company decided to nearly triple the stockpile within the next 18 months.
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