Johnson & Johnson Announces Commitment to Support Republic of Rwanda’s Preparedness Against Ebola Outbreak
On December 8th, Johnson & Johnson announced that its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies will provide up to 200,000 Ebola vaccine regimens to the Republic of Rwanda. This commitment will support a new immunization program led by the Rwanda Government that aims to help protect the country’s citizens from the Ebola outbreak in neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The first batches of vaccine have been delivered to the country, and further shipments are being organized.
On July 17, 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the DRC Ebola outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). More than 3,300 cases, including more than 2,200 deaths, have been reported to date, making the outbreak second only to the 2014-2016 West Africa epidemic, and raising concerns about its potential to cross international borders. In October, Johnson & Johnson announced that the DRC would begin using the Janssen investigational vaccine as part of an expanded response to the outbreak.
To date, nearly 8,000 volunteers across the U.S., Europe and Africa have participated in multiple clinical studies of the Janssen vaccine. This includes approximately 1,300 individuals who have received the vaccine in the DRC, according to the country’s Ebola response committee. Study results indicate that the vaccine is well tolerated and induces robust and durable immune response to the Ebola virus Zaire strain- the cause of the DRC outbreak.
Johnson & Johnson has made a significant investment in Janssen’s Ebola vaccine regimen since its decision to accelerate the development program in 2014 in response to the widespread outbreak that occurred in West Africa that year. The vaccine regimen was developed in collaboration with global partners, including Bavarian Nordic A/S, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) funded through the EU Horizon 2020 programme, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at HHS.
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