First Ebola vaccine approved for use in Europe in move which could save thousands of lives

THOUSANDS of lives could be saved after the first Ebola vaccine was approved for use in Europe.

US drugmaker Merck & Co received consent to market the booster, known as Ervebo, from the European Commission on Monday.

US pharmaceutical maker Merck & Co has received approval from the European Commission to market its Ebola vaccine
Reuters

The drug is already being used under emergency guidelines to try to protect against the spread of the deadly virus in Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Ebola vaccine, which is approved for individuals aged 18 or over, was authorised less than a month after the European Medicines Agency recommended it be licensed.

EU Ebola Coordinator Christos Stylianides said: “The EU is supporting international efforts to combat Ebola on all fronts, from vaccine development to delivering humanitarian aid on the ground.”

Merck’s chairman and chief executive officer, Ken Frazier, added: “The European Commission’s marketing authorization of Ervebo is the result of an unprecedented collaboration for which the entire world should be proud.”

Deadly outbreak

The current outbreak is largely confined to Congo – and has been at such a scale that the UN health agency declared the epidemic, the second-deadliest Ebola outbreak in history – as an international emergency in July.

To date, there have been 3,113 confirmed cases and more than 2,150 people have died since the epidemic was first declared last August.

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