As the world prepares to fight Lassa fever, the interests of pregnant women must be part of the planning
In a First Opinion piece published by STAT News, members of the Pregnancy Research Ethics for Vaccines Epidemics, and New Technologies (PREVENT) working group, including CIR Director Dr. Ruth Karron, speak candidly about the re-emergence of Lassa Fever and it’s potential impact on pregnant and lactating women in affected communities.
Historically, pregnant women have been excluded as potential investigational vaccine recipients during outbreaks, because there is little or no safety data for the unborn fetus. However, the multidisciplinary group of experts that compose PREVENT have re-evaluated the automatic exclusion of pregnant women from vaccine clinical research trials and from the receipt of vaccines in the event of outbreaks like the recent Ebola outbreak in the Congo.
Dr. Karron discussed the importance of a licensed RSV vaccine in an interview with WMAR2News reporter Ashley James. “In young children, the virus can spread to the lungs and cause pneumonia or wheezing, dangerous wheezing illness. That’s what makes them so sick. And in very young children RSV can actually cause infants to stop breathing.”
Researchers investigated the feasibility of maternal RSV vaccine trials to demonstrate reductions in recurrent childhood wheezing in general pediatric populations.
What is the current landscape for dengue, zika and other arbovirus vaccines? Which other arboviruses should be prioritized for vaccine development or for improvements of the existing vaccine(s)? How will the immune response to one virus affect that of another? What are the challenges to funding and commercializing arbovirus vaccines?
Days after the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared an end to a deadly Ebola outbreak in the western province of Équateur, a new one emerged in North Kivu province. With the number of cases and death toll rising rapidly, the country’s ministry of health, the World Health Organization, and partners are working to launch a rapid and effective response that includes the use of an experimental vaccine. But their decision not to vaccinate women who are pregnant or lactating unfairly deprives them of the protection they deserve against this deadly disease.
CIR’s Team FIRE (Flavirus Immunization Research and Education) led by Dr. Anna Durbin, has begun their first Investigational Zika vaccine (ZIKV) clinical trial.
CIR’s Team FIRE (Flavirus Immunization Research and Education) led by Dr. Anna Durbin, is gearing up to start their first Investigational Zika vaccine (ZIKV) clinical trial. The vaccine is a live attenuated chimeric vaccine meant to prevent Zika infection by inducing a protective immune response.