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Debate over whether to test a second Ebola vaccine turns acrimonious

An aggressive push to use a second experimental Ebola vaccine to try to help stop the outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo may have backfired.
The DRC's health minister, Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga, seen visiting an Ebola treatment center in March. Source: JOHN WESSELS/AFP/Getty Images

An aggressive push to use a second experimental Ebola vaccine to try to help stop the nearly yearlong outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo may have backfired, with the DRC’s health minister insisting the country will not allow use of the vaccine, made by pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson.

The health minister, Dr. Oly Ilunga, had previously suggested a consortium made up of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Doctors Without Borders, and others might be permitted to conduct a clinical trial of J&J’s Ebola vaccine in the country, although not in the outbreak zone, where Merck’s experimental vaccine is being used.

Late last week he rescinded that option, saying the country would not approve a trial of another experimental vaccine during the ongoing outbreak, which has infected

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