Vaccinating Pregnant Women Against Ebola

September 17, 2018

In a STAT News opinion piece, Johns Hopkins University experts, including our Ruth Faden, argued it is unfair to deny pregnant and lactating women the experimental Ebola vaccine if they wish to take it, given the great risk the virus poses to those who are exposed to it.

“From a public health perspective and an ethical perspective, the decision to exclude pregnant and lactating women is utterly indefensible,” they wrote.

The authors are members of Pregnancy Research Ethics for Vaccines, Epidemics, and New Technologies (PREVENT) Working Group, which has brought together an international team of experts in bioethics, maternal immunization, maternal-fetal medicine, obstetrics, pediatrics, philosophy, public health, and vaccine research to provide specific recommendations developed to address this critical gap in vaccine research and development and epidemic response. This group recognizes that excluding pregnant women from efforts to develop and deploy vaccines against emerging threats is not acceptable.