KAMPALA, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- Uganda will start Ebola vaccinations next Monday, targeting frontline health workers in high-risk districts bordering the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where there is an outbreak.
Jane Ruth Aceng, minister of health, told reporters here on Friday that with World Health Organization (WHO) support, Uganda has procured over 2,100 of rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccines, and while supplementary doses have been requested.
About 3,000 frontline health workers in the five high-risk districts of Kabarole, Bunyangabo, Kasese, Bundibugyo, and Ntoroko, which border the DRC, are targeted.
"Our health workers are the highest risk population for Ebola," said Aceng, accompanied by WHO officials.
She said Ebola preparedness and response activities are in high gear in Uganda, even though there is no outbreak in the country.
Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, WHO country representative in Uganda, said the vaccine is safe as evidenced from its previous use in Guinea, Sierra Leone and the DRC.
The Ebola virus is highly contagious and causes a range of symptoms including fever, vomiting, diarrhea, generalized pain or malaise and in many cases internal and external bleeding.
Mortality rates of Ebola fever, according to the WHO, are extremely high, with the human case fatality rate ranging from 50 percent to 89 percent, depending on viral sub-type.