Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday gave the go-ahead to begin the production of an Ebola vaccine for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and other African countries stricken by the deadly virus.
Vector State Research Center for Virology and Biotechnology in the Novosibirsk Region, one of the world’s leading institutions of its kind, has developed what it calls the EpiVacEbola and is ready to produce the first batch of 5,000 doses, according to employees at the facilities.
“Please, start. It’s a very important task,” Medvedev said, inaugurating the production.
The Ebola virus is a potent fever with a wide-ranging set of symptoms that spreads predominantly in Africa and affects humans and some primates.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates it to have a 50 per cent fatality rate.
The current pandemic began in the DRC in July 2018 and has claimed over 2,000 lives from around 3,200 reported cases.
The Russian government in October allocated $6.2 million to help African countries combat the virus.
Medvedev, during his visit to the centre as part of a working trip to Novosibirsk, congratulated the institution on becoming a Collaborating Centre for Influenza within WHO.
As a collaborating centre, Vector will be responsible for providing accurate, weekly updated data on the influenza activity in Russia and central Asia, including monitoring mutations of the seasonal virus.
The lab’s general director, Dr. Renat Matsuyov, expressed to the prime minister his satisfaction at receiving the prestigious status. (Sputnik/NAN)