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Gov’t alarms over fake Ebola vaccine

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The New Dawn Liberia The New Dawn LiberiaA senior health official here has alarmed of the issuance of “false Ebola vaccine” by imposters, acting as health workers in Monrovia and surroundings.

Deputy Health Minister for Research Planning, Ms. Yah Zolia told UNMIL radio Wednesday, July 16 that the Health Ministry is receiving reports of imposters offering Ebola vaccine in some communities.

Ms. Zolia disclosed that one of her staff and the health promotion director at the ministry had informed her about imposters delivering what they claimed is an Ebola vaccine.

Additionally, the deputy health minister said she personally received two calls from Paynesville and one from Brewerville, of complaints that unidentified individuals posing as health workers were delivering the Ebola vaccine.

She said the action by the alleged imposters is intended to create false hope within the public that there is a vaccine for Ebola, which she dismissed as unfounded. Ms. Zolia told UNMIL Radio that her staff did not name a specific community in which the false Ebola vaccine was being offered.

A vaccine is a substance used to stimulate the production of antibodies and provide resistance against one or several diseases. It also acts as a foreign substance that induces an immune response in the body without stirring up a disease.  The deputy minister has, meanwhile, urged the public, including those who have reported the alleged act to call the police and health authorities whenever such imposters appear in their communities.

“Whoever that is doing that needs to be arrested… whatever they are doing, they are causing more harm than good, because they are giving people false hope that there is a vaccine for Ebola,” said Ms. Zolia.

Health authorities in Liberia have reported scores of Ebola related deaths, affecting both patients and nurses since the deadly virus broke out in the West African region, but there has been no official pronouncement of vaccine.  Messages have continuously centered on preventive tips such as avoiding contact with infected persons, touching their vomit and urine, or dead bodies, among others.

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