World Health Organization Adapts Ebola Vaccination Strategy After Violence Impacts Response in DRC

The World Health Organization adapted its Ebola vaccination strategy in the DRC last week. Deaths are now over 1,000 and response continues to be interrupted by violence and distrust.

The WHO is now vaccinating a wider range of “tertiary” contacts and reducing dosages in order to stem potential vaccine shortages. The organization is particularly concerned about new cases continuing to arise among unknown contacts.

Last week, Ebola response efforts were temporarily halted in Butempo, one of the epicenters of the outbreak, as motorcycle taxi drivers clashed with security personnel. Taxi drivers feel at risk because of their job. When response efforts are disrupted by violence, “the virus gets a free ride”, says WHO’s Tedros Ghebreyesus.

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