Effect of Recombinant Vesicular Stomatitis Virus-Zaire Ebola Virus Vaccination on Ebola Virus Disease Illness and Death, Democratic Republic of the Congo

We conducted a retrospective cohort study to assess the effect vaccination with the live-attenuated recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus–Zaire Ebola virus vaccine had on deaths among patients who had laboratory-confirmed Ebola virus disease (EVD). We included EVD-positive patients coming to an Ebola Treatment Center in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo during 2018–2020. Overall, 25% of patients vaccinated before symptom onset died compared with 63% of unvaccinated patients. Vaccinated patients reported fewer EVD-associated symptoms, had reduced time to clearance of viral load, and had reduced length of stay at the Ebola Treatment Center. After controlling for confounders, vaccination was strongly associated with decreased deaths. Reduction in deaths was not affected by timing of vaccination before or after EVD exposure. These findings support use of preexposure and postexposure recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus–Zaire Ebola virus vaccine as an intervention associated with improved death rates, illness, and recovery time among patients with EVD.

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  • Brown University
  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Rhode Island Foundation