A new report aims to ensure that pregnant women are no longer excluded from receiving vaccines against emerging infectious diseases. Despite a significantly higher risk of serious disease and death, vaccines against these devastating diseases are rarely developed and approved for pregnant women. The report, Pregnant Woman & Vaccines Against Emerging Epidemic Threats: Ethics Guidance for Preparedness, Research and Response, makes 22 recommendations, including making vaccines available to pregnant women in an epidemic.
The report was issued by the Pregnancy Research Ethics for Vaccines, Epidemics, and New Technologies (PREVENT) Working Group – a multidisciplinary, international team of 17 experts specializing in bioethics, maternal immunization, maternal-fetal medicine, obstetrics, pediatrics, philosophy, public health, and vaccine research and policy.
Dr. Ruth A. Karron, director of the Johns Hopkins Vaccine Initiative at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, is one of the report’s lead authors, as is Dr. Ruth R. Faden, a lead author of the report and founding director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics.
PREVENT is a grant-funded project led by faculty at Johns Hopkins University alongside co-investigators at Georgetown University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.