Vax Has Unknown Risks, But Vital Rewards

Pregnant and lactating women should be included in DRC Ebola vaccine strategies, argue members of the Pregnancy Research Ethics for Vaccines, Epidemics and New Technologies (PREVENT) working group.

While highly effective, the safety of the vaccine for pregnant women is unknown: “What we don’t know is dwarfed by what we do know,” argue the authors. And “what we know” is that nearly 90% of pregnant women who contract Ebola die and virtually all pregnancies of Ebola-infected women end in miscarriage or infant death. Pitting limited knowledge about vaccine safety against almost sure death, they argue, makes not vaccinating pregnant women amidst an Ebola outbreak an “indefensible decision.”

STAT News (Commentary)

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