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Being Pregnant during the Kivu Ebola Virus Outbreak in DR Congo: The rVSV-ZEBOV Vaccine and Its Accessibility by Mothers and Infants during Humanitarian Crises and in Conflict Areas

Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University, Augusta, GA 30912, USA
Vaccines 2020, 8(1), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines8010038
Received: 2 January 2020 / Revised: 18 January 2020 / Accepted: 19 January 2020 / Published: 22 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccines for Ebola Virus and Related Diseases)
The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak that began in Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in July 2018 is the second largest in history. It is also the largest and most deadly of the ten Ebola outbreaks to occur in DRC, the country where Ebola was first identified during the 1976 Yambuku outbreak. The Kivu region is one of the most challenging locations in which to organize humanitarian assistance. It is an active conflict zone in which numerous armed groups are conducting violent acts, often directed against the inhabitants, healthcare and relief workers and peacekeepers. EVD has been especially problematic in pregnancy—previous outbreaks both in DRC and other countries have resulted in very high mortality rates among pregnant women and especially their infants, with maternal mortality in some outbreaks reaching over 90% and perinatal mortality 100%. The development and implementation of the Merck rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine for Ebola infection has been a tremendous public health advance in preventing EVD, being used successfully in both the West Africa Ebola epidemic and the Équateur DRC Ebola outbreak. But from the start of the Kivu outbreak, policy decisions had resulted in excluding pregnant and lactating women and their infants from receiving it during extensive ring vaccination efforts. In June 2019, this policy was reversed, 10 months after the start of the outbreak. Pregnant and lactating women are now permitted not only the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine in the continuing Kivu outbreak but also the newly implemented Ad26.ZEBOV/MVA-BN vaccine. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ebola virus; Ebola vaccine; Democratic Republic of the Congo; pregnancy; maternal death; rVSV-ZEBOV; vaccination; hemorrhagic fever; excluding pregnant women; epidemic; filovirus; clinical trial; vaccinating pregnant women; humanitarian crisis; clinical trials; conflict area Ebola virus; Ebola vaccine; Democratic Republic of the Congo; pregnancy; maternal death; rVSV-ZEBOV; vaccination; hemorrhagic fever; excluding pregnant women; epidemic; filovirus; clinical trial; vaccinating pregnant women; humanitarian crisis; clinical trials; conflict area
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MDPI and ACS Style

Schwartz, D.A. Being Pregnant during the Kivu Ebola Virus Outbreak in DR Congo: The rVSV-ZEBOV Vaccine and Its Accessibility by Mothers and Infants during Humanitarian Crises and in Conflict Areas. Vaccines 2020, 8, 38. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines8010038

AMA Style

Schwartz DA. Being Pregnant during the Kivu Ebola Virus Outbreak in DR Congo: The rVSV-ZEBOV Vaccine and Its Accessibility by Mothers and Infants during Humanitarian Crises and in Conflict Areas. Vaccines. 2020; 8(1):38. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines8010038

Chicago/Turabian Style

Schwartz, David A. 2020. "Being Pregnant during the Kivu Ebola Virus Outbreak in DR Congo: The rVSV-ZEBOV Vaccine and Its Accessibility by Mothers and Infants during Humanitarian Crises and in Conflict Areas" Vaccines 8, no. 1: 38. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines8010038

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