By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

In a follow-up on the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) case reported in Côte d’Ivoire (HERE and HERE), officials report a Ebola vaccination of high-risk populations, including health workers and first responders in Abidjan has been launched.

The doses came from 5,000 vaccines which the World Health Organization (WHO) helped secure to fight the outbreak in Guinea & were sent from there to Abidjan. This includes 2,000 doses from Merck that are being used under the “ring strategy” and 3,000 vaccine doses manufactured by Johnson & Johnson which are to be used to boost the vaccination in areas not experiencing active transmission.

“The Ebola vaccine is a critical tool in the fight against the virus and so it’s a top priority to move rapidly and start protecting people at high risk of the disease,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “The speed with which Cote d’Ivoire has ramped up vaccination is remarkable and shows that with effective sub-regional solidarity we can quickly take measures to extinguish lethal infections that can potentially flare up into large outbreaks.”

In addition, Guinea also deployed five vaccination experts and provided monoclonal antibody treatments to Cote d’Ivoire.

WHO says in addition to the confirmed case, one suspected case and nine contacts have been identified and are being monitored. No deaths have been reported. There is no indication yet that the current outbreak in Cote d’Ivoire is linked with the one that was in Guinea. Further analysis and genomic sequencing will help determine any connection.