Press release

Statement on new Ebola vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency

Statement from Wellcome in response to the Johnson & Johnson Ebola vaccine recommended for approval by the European Medicines Agency


Dr Josie Golding, Epidemics Lead at Wellcome, said:
“This approval for the Johnson & Johnson Ebola vaccine from the European Medicines Agency, paired with authorisation of the Merck vaccine last year, marks an important milestone in this and our future responses to Ebola.

“It is a truly remarkable achievement that in just five years since the West African 2014-16 epidemic we have not one, but two approved vaccines. Together these are a real game-changer, and can work complimentarily to reduce the threat of Ebola in the future. Merck’s vaccine is geared towards ring vaccination of close patient contacts while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is used outside of outbreak zones to prevent disease spread. It is now critical that such interventions are available to all who need them to ensure we stop Ebola outbreaks before they start and prevent any epidemic reaching the scale of what we have seen in the DRC. 

“It is testament first and foremost to the hard work of the brave and dedicated healthcare workers on the ground and we must not forget those who lost their lives during this time. The global commitment to research has played a crucial role in supporting affected communities, finding diagnostics, treatments and vaccines. It couldn’t have happened without international collaboration between researchers, governments, industry, NGOs and the World Health Organization.

“One clear lesson from this epidemic is that we must embed research into the response. As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise across Africa, it is vital to unite an international effort behind the DRC and neighbouring countries to support research programmes, disease surveillance and to maintain health infrastructure to allow the Ebola response to continue during the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.”

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