3000 Health Workers to Benefit from Ebola Vaccination

1477 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The health workers will be vaccinated using the Ebola Zaire vaccine. The vaccine is expected to arrive in the country today afternoon however vaccination will only start once the use of the vaccine has been approved by the Institutional Review Board-IRB.

3,000 health workers in five high-risk Ebola districts are to be vaccinated against Ebola according to the World Health Organisation. The districts include Bundibugyo, Kasese, Kabarole, Bunyangabu and Ntoroko.

The health workers will be vaccinated using the Ebola Zaire vaccine. The vaccine is expected to arrive in the country today afternoon however vaccination will only start once the use of the vaccine has been approved by the Institutional Review Board-IRB.


The IRB is a body that protects the right and welfares of human research subjects that are recruited to participate in research activities.

We have trained health workers in 22 districts how to carry out the vaccination are just waiting for the vaccines arrival and approval from the Institutional Review Board before we can start immunizing health workers. The moment we get the green light, we shall start." Edmon Mwebembezi, Public Information Officer WHO said.

The same vaccine that was used in North Kivu last month following an Ebola outbreak in the area will be used in Uganda. More than 100 people are believed to have been infected with the virus. More than 90 have been reported dead. The vaccine used in North Kivu was produced by Merck.

Dr Annet Kisakye, head of Vaccination WHO says that the vaccine will only be given to health workers because they are at a high risk of being exposed to the disease.

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According to WHO, they have decided to carry out the vaccination following reports of Ebola cases being reported near Lake Albert in Butembo.


The current outbreak of Ebola in North Kivu and Ituri province was officially declared in August and has since killed 97 people. 46 are believed to still be infected while more than 1,500 are under active surveillance.

Dr Kisakye explains that they will embark on immunizing other people once cases of Ebola are reported in the country.


"We shall not be immunizing the entire country. We shall carry out contact vaccination once cases of Ebola are confirmed in the country," she says.


As of 2016, studies carried out by the Public Health Agency of Canada found that the vaccine was 95-100 percent effective against the Ebola virus. Last month, the Ministry of Health together with WHO released a tentative budget for what was needed for the country's Ebola preparedness campaign. A total of 3 trillion shillings was needed but only 1 trillion was allocated for vaccination.