Control of Ebola virus disease outbreaks: Comparison of health care worker-targeted and community vaccination strategies

Alexis Robert, Anton Camacho, William Edmunds, Marc Baguelin, Jean Jacques Muyembe Tamfum, Alicia Rosello, Sakoba Kéïta, Rosalind M. Eggo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Health care workers (HCW) are at risk of infection during Ebola virus disease outbreaks and therefore may be targeted for vaccination before or during outbreaks. The effect of these strategies depends on the role of HCW in transmission which is understudied. Methods: To evaluate the effect of HCW-targeted or community vaccination strategies, we used a transmission model to explore the relative contribution of HCW and the community to transmission. We calibrated the model to data from multiple Ebola outbreaks. We quantified the impact of ahead-of-time HCW-targeted strategies, and reactive HCW and community vaccination. Results: We found that for some outbreaks (we call “type 1″) HCW amplified transmission both to other HCW and the community, and in these outbreaks prophylactic vaccination of HCW decreased outbreak size. Reactive vaccination strategies had little effect because type 1 outbreaks ended quickly. However, in outbreaks with longer time courses (“type 2 outbreaks”), reactive community vaccination decreased the number of cases, with or without prophylactic HCW-targeted vaccination. For both outbreak types, we found that ahead-of-time HCW-targeted strategies had an impact at coverage of 30%. Conclusions: The vaccine strategies tested had a different impact depending on the transmission dynamics and previous control measures. Although we will not know the characteristics of a new outbreak, ahead-of-time HCW-targeted vaccination can decrease the total outbreak size, even at low vaccine coverage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-114
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • Ebola
  • Health care workers
  • Outbreak control
  • Public health
  • Vaccination


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