December 5, 2019 / 2:16 PM / a month ago

Ebola vaccine doses to be stockpiled for emergency outbreak use

A health worker fills a syringe with Ebola vaccine before injecting it to a patient, in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, August 5, 2019. REUTERS/Baz Ratner/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - The global vaccine alliance GAVI said on Thursday it had agreed to fund and create a $178 million stockpile of Ebola vaccines for emergency use in outbreaks.

The aim is for a global stock of 500,000 doses of vaccine against the deadly haemorrhagic fever, GAVI said in a statement. The stockpiling will start with Merck’s newly developed Ervebo vaccine, which won regulatory approval last month.

The plan is for poor and middle-income countries to be able to access the stockpile free of charge, GAVI said, while other countries will need to refund the cost of any vaccines used.

GAVI is a public-private partnership backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, UNICEF and others, which arranges bulk buys to reduce vaccine costs for poor countries.

Reporting by Kate Kelland; editing by Kevin Liffey

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