Aid group Doctors Without Borders called Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) on Monday accused the World Health Organization of rationing the Ebola vaccine in the Democratic Republic of Congo where more than 2,100 people have died of the deadly virus.
“One of the main problems currently is the fact that in practice the vaccine is rationed by the WHO and that too few people at risk are protected today,” MSF said in a statement.
It called for “the creation of an independent international coordination committee” to “guarantee the transparency of the management of stocks and data sharing”.
Around 225,000 people have received the Ebola vaccination manufactured by German pharma giant Merck since August 8, 2018, “but this number remains largely insufficient”, MSF said.
“Up to 2,000-2,500 people could be vaccinated every day, against the current 50-1,000 people,” MSF director of operations Isabelle Defourny said in the statement.
According to reports, efforts to expand access to the vaccination in collaboration with the Ministry of Health… have come up against tight control imposed by WHO on supplies of vaccines.
“The reasons behind these restrictions remain unclear,” MSF said, adding that the current vaccine had “demonstrated its safety and effectiveness”.
Furthermore, the medical charity also said that a shortage of the vaccine could not be the reason for the low numbers being vaccinated.