Pregnant, Lactating Women Should Be Able To Receive Experimental Ebola Vaccine

STAT: Ebola vaccine for pregnant women: one step closer but still more to go
Sonja A. Rasmussen, pediatrician and epidemiologist at the University of Florida College of Medicine and College of Public Health and Health Professions, and Denise J. Jamieson, obstetrician-gynecologist at Emory University School of Medicine

“…The [experimental Ebola] vaccine should be offered not only to pregnant and lactating women who are contacts of those diagnosed with Ebola, but also to pregnant and lactating health care workers, and to pregnant and lactating women who are the contacts of contacts. To guide future vaccination efforts, data should be collected on pregnancy outcomes. We also believe that pregnant women should be offered the vaccine regardless of trimester. … [P]regnancy shouldn’t automatically exclude women from receiving lifesaving therapies. Pregnant women and their fetuses deserve the opportunity to be protected from severe disease and death. As with the general population, the focus needs to remain on the benefits of the intervention and whether those outweigh the potential risks. Based on what is known about the severe effects of Ebola virus on a woman and her fetus and preliminary data on the effectiveness of the Ebola vaccine, the benefits of Ebola vaccine outweigh the potential risks, even during the first trimester when the fetus’s organs are forming. The way forward should be clear: The Ebola vaccine should be offered to lactating and pregnant women regardless of pregnancy trimester to protect women and their fetuses from severe illness and death” (6/13).