The fight against Ebola in neighbouring DRC may suffer setbacks as it has emerged that the World Health Organisation (WHO) is itself complicating access to vaccine.
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in DRCongo is calling for the creation of an independent committee to coordinate Ebola vaccination. The NGO denounces the opacity of the management of vaccine stocks by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The MSF is pushing against the management of the first Ebola vaccine by the World Health Organization, accused of going it alone.
This team of doctors has denounced the “extreme control” imposed by the WHO on the vaccination sector. MSF, which notes that the death rate is still very high, believes that “one of the major problems” they face is the actual rationing of the vaccine by the WHO today.
“We have a major disagreement with the WHO, particularly on vaccination in the DRC,” explains Isabelle Defourny, MSF’s director of operations.
She said the epidemic has so far led to 3,000 patients, of whom 2,000 have died.
“So, we are facing an extremely high mortality now at 67% despite the existence of effective treatments and vaccines. Concerning the vaccine, we think that there is a need for a real change because it is possible today to double the number of people vaccinated. ”
MSF has demanded for the establishment of an international coordinating committee independent of the vaccine.
“It has been months and months since we asked them to have a transparent debate and to be able to work with them to solve this problem, which is at a too slow pace of vaccination. And the creation of an independent international committee would be a very good thing to succeed to deliver to more people this vaccine which seems extremely effective, “says Isabelle.
However, Dr. Michel Yao, WHO’s coordinator for the Ebola response in North Kivu and Ituri says the WHO is justified in recalling that they apply the precautionary principle by following a “rigorous” protocol for a vaccine still at the experimental stage. “So it cannot be used like other vaccines.”
A vaccine that has not yet been licensed cannot be produced in large quantities either. The quantities we have allow us to put in place the protocol recommended by the group of scientific experts “.
The Express News