Together with its partners, the United Nations health agency has vaccinated more than 7.7 million people in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), in less than two weeks. These vaccinations are a major part of the largest emergency vaccination campaign against yellow fever ever attempted in Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) highlighted in a news release today. “WHO commends the Government of the DRC for this significant achievement to roll out such a complex campaign in such a short period of time,” said the WHO Representative in the DRC, Dr. Yokouide Allarangar, in the release. According to the agency, planning a vaccination campaign of this scale usually takes up to six months, however, this campaign was put in place in a matter of weeks to end transmission of yellow fever before the rainy season starts in September. Furthermore, a “dose sparing” strategy – using one fifth of the full dose of yellow fever vaccine – was employed for this campaign, under the recommendation of the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization, as a short-term emergency measure to reach as many people as possible given limited supplies of the vaccine.

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