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Urgent considerations for booster vaccination strategies against Ebola virus disease.

With two endorsed and prophylactic vaccines against Zaire ebolavirus (referred to hereafter as EBOV), the number of individuals vaccinated against EBOV worldwide is estimated to range between 500 000 and 1 000 000 individuals, increasing with every renewed EBOV threat and vaccination campaign. Therefore, re-exposure of previously vaccinated health-care workers, and possibly community members, could become more frequent. In the absence of long-term data on vaccine efficacy and duration of protection, we urgently need to understand revaccination strategies that could maximise the level of protection. In this Personal View, we highlight the scarcity of available evidence to guide revaccination recommendations for the accumulating groups of previously vaccinated communities or front-line health-care workers that could be redeployed or re-exposed in the next EBOV outbreak(s). This evidence base is crucial to identify optimal target populations and the frequency of booster doses, and guide vaccine interchangeability (especially in settings with limited or unpredictable vaccine supplies), while preventing vaccine mistrust, equity concerns, and exclusion of vulnerable populations. We discuss five priority gaps (to whom, when, and how frequently, to provide booster doses; long-term correlates and thresholds of protection; the effect of vector-directed immunity and viral variant protection; comparative research in mix-and-match schedules; and implementation concerns) that should be urgently tackled to adapt the initial EBOV prophylactic vaccination strategies considering potential booster dose vaccinations.

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