Delayed Ebola vaccination drive to begin in Guinea

Delayed Ebola vaccination drive to begin in Guinea

Guinea's fight to stamp out a resurgence of Ebola can start after over 11,000 vaccine doses
Guinea's fight to stamp out a resurgence of Ebola can start after over 11,000 vaccine doses arrived in the country AFP/CELLOU BINANI

CONAKRY: Guinea will launch an Ebola vaccination drive on Tuesday (Feb 23) after a flight delayed by a Saharan dust storm arrived carrying thousands of jabs, as the West African country fights to stamp out a resurgence of the deadly virus.

The outbreak, declared last weekend, is the first in the region since a 2013-2016 epidemic left more than 11,300 people dead, mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The start of the inoculation campaign had to be delayed by one day after a plane carrying more than 11,000 vaccine doses was unable to land in Guinea's capital Conakry due to a dust storm.

A special flight carrying the Merck vaccine finally landed in Guinea late on Monday, an AFP correspondent reported.

Health authorities said some of the doses would head straight to Nzerekore, the capital of Guinea's southeastern forest region where five people have recently died of Ebola.

READ: Guinea tracks potential Ebola contacts, says it can overcome new outbreak

READ: Ebola re-emerges in West Africa with Guinea outbreak

Inoculations are also planned in Conakry on Tuesday.

Ebola causes severe fever and, in the worst cases, unstoppable bleeding. It is transmitted through close contact with bodily fluids, and people who live with or care for patients are most at risk.

As well as Guinea, the disease has also recently reemerged in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A further 8,700 vaccine doses were set to arrive from the United States on Wednesday.

Source: AFP/ga

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