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Ebola Vaccine


Margot L. Savoy

, MD, MPH, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University

Last full review/revision Jun 2021| Content last modified Jun 2021

rVSV-ZEBOV is the only vaccine approved for use in the United States by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for prevention of Ebola virus disease caused by Zaire ebolavirus species. It provides protection against only the Zaire ebolavirus species and does not protect against other species of Ebola virus or Marburg virus.

Another vaccine, Ad26.ZEBOV/MVA-BN-Filo, is a combination of two vaccines. This vaccine is not approved for use in the United States, but it was used during an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

(See also Overview of Immunization.)

Administration of Ebola Vaccine

rVSV-ZEBOV (Ervebo®) is given as a single injection into a muscle in people 18 years of age and older.

This vaccine is recommended for people 18 years of age and older in the United States who are at high risk of occupational exposure to Ebola because they are doing the following:

  • Responding to an outbreak of Ebola virus disease
  • Working as health care personnel at federally designated Ebola treatment centers in the United States
  • Working as laboratory personnel or as other staff at biosafety level 4 facilities where live Ebola virus is handled in the United States

This vaccine is also stockpiled in Switzerland for rapid distribution to people in regions experiencing an outbreak of Ebola virus disease.

Ad26.ZEBOV/MVA-BN-Filo is given as an injection into a muscle in a 2-dose series for the prevention of Ebola virus disease caused by the Zaire ebolavirus species in people 1 year of age and older.

Side Effects of Ebola Vaccine

For all 3 vaccines, the most common side effects are pain and swelling at the injection site, muscle and joint pain, headache, and tiredness.

For rVSV-ZEBOV, other common side effects are redness at the injection site, feverishness, nausea, joint pain, rash, and abnormal sweating.

For Ad26.ZEBOV/MVA-BN-Filo, other common side effects include warmth at the injection site and chills. In children 1 to 17 years of age, the most common side effects reported are

  • Pain at the injection site
  • Tiredness
  • Decreased activity
  • Decreased appetite
  • Irritability

More Information

The following is an English-language resource that may be useful. Please note that THE MANUAL is not responsible for the content of this resource.

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease): Information about Ebola prevention and vaccines

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