December 19, 2019
HHS Secretary Azar Statement on FDA Approval of Ebola Vaccine
On Thursday, December 17, 2019, the Food and Drug Administration approved a vaccine made by Merck for the Zaire strain of the Ebola virus, which caused more than 11,000 deaths during the 2014 West Africa outbreak and has caused more than 2,000 deaths in the current outbreak in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. This is the first FDA approval of a vaccine for the prevention of this deadly virus, and HHS’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) provided significant support for the development of the vaccine.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar issued the following statement:
“The first-ever FDA approval of a vaccine for the prevention of Ebola is a triumph of American global health leadership. From research and development to support for manufacturing, the U.S. government played an integral role in advancing the development of Merck’s vaccine. The newly approved vaccine, as well as investigational therapeutics and other tools supported by the U.S. government, is playing a huge role in saving lives during the current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. When I led the U.S. delegation to Central Africa in September to learn more about the situation on the ground, we underscored that ending the Ebola outbreak is one of the top global health priorities for the Trump administration. We will continue strongly supporting the DRC government, other governments in the region, and the World Health Organization in their work until the Ebola outbreak is brought to an end, and we will continue working with governments around the world to prepare for and prevent such infectious disease outbreaks in the future.”
Read Secretary Azar, CDC Director Robert Redfield, and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci’s op-ed about their trip to Central Africa in September and the U.S. commitment to ending the Ebola outbreak: https://www.hhs.gov/about/leadership/secretary/op-eds/on-front-lines-trump-administrations-ebola-response.html