The largest emergency vaccination campaign against yellow fever ever attempted in Africa, came to an end on 5 September 2016 with more than 10.6 million people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) vaccinated against the lethal disease.
In just ten days, 7 807 653 people were vaccinated in the capital city of Kinshasa, most of them using an emergency vaccine – one fifth of the full dose of yellow fever vaccine. This dose-sparing strategy was recommended by the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Vaccination (SAGE) as a short term emergency measure to reach as many people as possible given limited global vaccine supplies.
“WHO congratulates the DRC for successfully conducting this complex logistical emergency vaccination campaign in record time of 10 days including very hard to reach areas,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “It was a race against time to provide vaccine protection to the people most at risk from yellow fever before the rainy season, especially in the densely populated capital of Kinshasa.”