ACIP recommends Ebola vaccination for healthy adults at occupational risk
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted unanimously to recommend that healthy U.S. adults at occupational risk for Ebola be vaccinated against the virus using Merk’s V920 vaccine.
The committee voted that healthy, nonpregnant, nonlactating adults aged 18 years or older at potential occupational risk for Ebola should receive pre-exposure vaccination with the Merck V920 vaccine. This population includes individuals responding to an outbreak of the Zaire strain of the Ebola virus, laboratory and support staff at biosafety-level 4 facilities who are handling replication-competent Ebola virus (Zaire strain), and health care personnel at federally designated Ebola treatment centers involved in the care and transportation of patients infected with the Zaire strain of Ebola virus.
The vaccine was approved in Europe in November 2019 and approved by the FDA in December 2019, marking the world’s first approved Ebola vaccine. Previously, it had been given to more than 258,000 people in the ongoing outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where it was estimated to be more than 97% effective.
Now that the vaccine has been recommended, vaccination will be added to the CDC guidelines, along with directions for its use. The vaccine is expected to be available in late 2020, although discussions are ongoing to allow limited quantities to be made available to ACIP-recommended populations during the interim period. – by Caitlyn Stulpin