Describe the currently approved rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccine

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SPH 381 Vaccine writing assignment, Winter 2020:

As a public health professional, you will need to effectively communicate the science underlying public health interventions. For example, you may be tasked with implementing a program to convince skeptical parents that vaccines are beneficial, or you may be involved in a research trial in which an experimental vaccine is being tested. For either of those examples, it is important to be able to explain how vaccines work (ie how they provide protection from disease and what is in a vaccine that generates that protection). This assignment is meant to provide you with an opportunity to practice learning about the science underlying a public health intervention and communicating that information effectively.

For this assignment, imagine that you are a public health professional tasked with convincing skeptical members of a community in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to get the Ebola vaccine during an Ebola outbreak. In this assignment, you will write an information sheet for members of the community. This information sheet would be handed out to all people attending health clinics in the DRC during an Ebola outbreak. Within this information sheet you should explain how Ebola is transmitted and prevention measures used to reduce risk of transmission (including vaccination), provide a simple and clear explanation of how vaccines work, the type of vaccine used in the rVSV-EBOV vaccine (also called Ervebo), why this vaccine cannot cause Ebola, the efficacy of the Ebola vaccine, and how getting the vaccine will help not only you – but other members of your community. Because this is a class assignment, I expect you to describe the Ebola vaccine in a clear way using relevant scientific terms and to define or explain any scientific terms that the patients may not be familiar with.

Short and to the point is best. Your paper should include the following sections in a MAXIMUM of 1.5 single-spaced pages (shorter is better) with 11 point Arial font and 0.5 inch margins. This should be written in paragraph form. You can use headers for each section if you wish. The order in which you present this information is up to you. You are also welcome to use analogies and diagrams or pictures – but these are not required. If you choose to use diagrams/pictures they should be limited to ¼ page or less. Suggested references are provided, and you are welcome to use other references as well – but make sure they are from legitimate sources (ie CDC, WHO, NIH websites or journal articles, SPH 381 class materials). All references should be cited (including class notes). The reference list is not included in the 1.5 page maximum.

· Provide a short (1 paragraph) description of Ebola disease: what causes it, how it is transmitted, and public health measures that can be put in place during an outbreak (including, but not limited to vaccination).

· SPH 381 class materials



· Describe what vaccines do and the biology of how a vaccine works, including the potential immune responses generated and what they do to confer protection from disease. (1 paragraph)

Good resources include (but not limited to):





· SPH 381 class materials

· Describe the currently approved rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccine (also called Ervebo). Include in your description: the type of vaccine, what the vaccine includes that confers protection, why this vaccine cannot cause Ebola, and the estimated efficacy of the vaccine based on data from clinical trials (1-2 paragraphs).

Good resources include (but not limited to):

·, also found here: Ebola vaccine trial Lancet 2017


also found here: Levy viewpoint Lancet 2018

· Medaglini D, Santoro F, Siegrit CA. Correlates of Vaccine Induced Protective Immunity Against Ebola Virus Disease. Seminars in Immunology 39 (2018) 65-72, also found here: Medaglini Sem Imm 2018

· Medaglini D, Siegrist CA. Immunomonitoring of human responses to the rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola Vaccine. Current Opinion in Virology 2017, 23: 88-94. (This paper has a good visual of how the vaccine is made). Found here: Medaglini Curr Opin Viro 2017



· In your final paragraph, you should convince skeptical members of the community why they should get the vaccine. Explain how getting the vaccine will help not only them – but other members of their community. (1 paragraph)

· References (list of references is not included in the 1.5 page maximum)

· Use a number at the end of the sentence within the text you are referencing

· List the numbered references at the end of your paper using the AMA style in the document here: Quick_Citing_References – AMA

· Example for citing material from SPH 381 class:

1. Lingappa J. Basic Biology Overview. Science in Public Health: SPH 381 lecture. University of Washington, April 4, 2019.

· The final version of your paper must be uploaded to canvas by 11:59pm on Feb 13th. Late assignments will not be accepted.

Avoid Plagiarism: You may work together to think through this assignment – but you each need to write your own papers using your own wording, and avoid using wording from the references you use. Plagiarism (which is using someone else’s work, answers, phrases or sentences and calling them your own) is often is often misunderstood and careful attention should be paid to avoid plagiarism. Students are expected to reference all work and give appropriate attribution for all materials cited, including any reference to websites or articles. Remember that referencing the work you use does not mean you can use the wording from that sourceNOTE: It is NOT acceptable to use direct quotes from references for this assignment – even if you use quotation marks. You need to take the information you get from the reference and put it in your own words. Refer to the syllabus for more details and tools to avoid plagiarism. We will use a software program to identify plagiarism between student papers as well as from other sources. The top of page 2 in the following link is especially helpful in distinguishing between plagiarism and paraphrasing:


Component # of points
Description of Ebola disease: what causes it, how it is transmitted, and public health prevention measures to reduce the spread of Ebola 7
Description of what the goal of vaccination is and how a vaccine works

· include descriptions of potential immune responses and how they confer protection

Describe the currently approved rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccine. Include:

· the type of vaccine

· what is in the vaccine that confers protection

· why this vaccine cannot cause Ebola

· the efficacy of the Ebola vaccine

Convincing argument of why they should get the vaccine 7
References 4
Note: In addition to content, points are dependent on grammar and clarity of writing.

Make sure to include definitions of scientific terms that the patient may not be familiar with.