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Congo Approves New Mpox Vaccines

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In a crucial move to combat the alarming surge in mpox cases and the emergence of a more virulent strain, authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo have granted emergency use authorization for two new vaccines.

This development comes as the country grapples with over 20,000 reported cases of mpox since the beginning of last year, resulting in more than 1,000 fatalities, primarily affecting children.

Mpox, a highly contagious viral infection spread through close contact, presents flu-like symptoms and can lead to pus-filled lesions, with severe cases proving fatal.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and scientists have recently sounded the alarm on a new, more dangerous strain spreading in Congo’s South Kivu province.

To counter this growing threat, regulatory authorities in Congo have approved the use of Jynneos, developed by Bavarian Nordic, and LC16, produced by KM Biologics, following a rigorous evaluation process involving relevant stakeholders.

This milestone decision marks a significant step forward in the fight against mpox, as Congo has historically lacked widespread access to vaccines or treatments for the disease, except through limited clinical trials.

The approval of these vaccines offers a glimmer of hope for the Congolese population, who have been disproportionately affected by the outbreak.

As one of the world’s poorest countries, Congo reported its first human case of mpox in 1970, but has since struggled to access effective countermeasures against the disease.

With the emergency use authorization in place, health authorities in Congo can now accelerate vaccination efforts to contain the outbreak and protect vulnerable populations, particularly children, from the devastating impact of mpox.

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As the global health community continues to monitor the situation, this development serves as a testament to the power of collaborative efforts in addressing pressing public health concerns.


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