First Ebola Vaccine Approved by European Commission

THURSDAY, Nov. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The world's first Ebola vaccine has been approved by the European Commission, and it was quickly pre-qualified by the World Health Organization.

The Ervebo vaccine is made by Merck and is being used in a "compassionate use" capacity in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, site of the second-largest, second-deadliest Ebola outbreak on record, ABC News reported.

The WHO's pre-qualification of the vaccine means that it meets the agency's quality, safety and efficacy standards.

The vaccine's approval is "a historic step," according to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, ABC News reported.

"Five years ago, we had no vaccine and no therapeutics for Ebola," he said in a statement. "With a pre-qualified vaccine and experimental therapeutics, Ebola is now preventable and treatable."

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