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FDA Approves First Ebola Vaccine

American pharmaceutical company Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) received FDA approval for its Ebola vaccine Ervebo on Thursday, according to Reuters.

Benzinga · 12/20/2019 07:45

American pharmaceutical company Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) received FDA approval for its Ebola vaccine Ervebo on Thursday, according to Reuters.

What Happened

The FDA said had approved Merck’s Ebola vaccine, Ervebo, making it the first FDA-approved vaccine against the lethal virus.

The World Health Organization and the Democratic Republic of the Congo earlier used the Ervebo vaccine, mainly during the period between 2014 and 2016, to reduce Ebola disease outbreaks in some West African countries.

The injectable Ebola vaccine, Ervebo, will help to prevent EVD caused by Zaire ebolavirus in patients aged 18 years and older, said the FDA in a statement.

Why It Matters

A recent Ebola outbreak, which started in August 2018, killed more than 2,100 people, including over 160 health workers since the middle of last year.

European drug regulators have already approved the vaccine in October 2019, a decision that the WHO appreciated at the time.

“This vaccine has already saved many lives in the current Ebola outbreak, and the decision by European regulators will help it to eventually save many more,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, at the time.