European Commission Expands Merck’s ERVEBO® [Ebola Zaire Vaccine, (rVSVΔG-ZEBOV-GP) live] Indication to Include Children 1 Year of Age and Older

Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, announced today that the European Commission (EC) has approved an expanded indication for ERVEBO for active immunization of individuals 1 year of age or older to protect against Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) caused by Zaire ebolavirus. The EC’s decision follows the positive opinion from the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) received on July 20, 2023. The vaccine was previously approved for use in the European Union (EU) for individuals 18 years of age or older. The use of ERVEBO should be in accordance with official recommendations.

“Ebola virus disease is severe and potentially life-threatening for both children and adults. The European Commission’s expanded approval of ERVEBO for children 1 year of age and older is an important milestone for the prevention of disease caused by Zaire ebolavirus,” said Dr. Eliav Barr, senior vice president, head of global clinical development and chief medical officer, Merck Research Laboratories. “When outbreaks of Ebola virus disease occur, they can quickly become a public health crisis. We are proud to play a role, alongside the global public health community, in helping to prepare for potential outbreaks of Zaire ebolavirus.”

In January 2021, Merck confirmed an agreement with UNICEF to establish the world’s first global Ebola vaccine stockpile with ERVEBO to support future Zaire ebolavirus outbreak preparedness and response efforts. To date, over 500,000 doses of the licensed vaccine have been delivered to the stockpile, which is administered by the International Coordinating Group on Vaccine Provision.

Selected Safety Information for ERVEBO


Do not administer ERVEBO to individuals with a history of a severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) to any component of the vaccine, including rice protein.


Management of Acute Allergic Reactions

Among 18,616 participants vaccinated with at least one dose of ERVEBO in clinical trials, there were two reports of anaphylaxis. Monitor individuals for signs and symptoms of hypersensitivity reactions following vaccination with ERVEBO. Appropriate medical treatment and supervision must be available in case of an anaphylactic event following the administration of ERVEBO.

Limitations of Vaccine Effectiveness

Vaccination with ERVEBO may not protect all individuals. Vaccinated individuals should continue to adhere to infection control practices to prevent Zaire ebolavirus infection and transmission.

Immunocompromised Individuals

The safety and effectiveness of ERVEBO have not been assessed in immunocompromised individuals. The effectiveness of ERVEBO in immunocompromised individuals may be diminished. The risk of vaccination with ERVEBO, a live virus vaccine, in immunocompromised individuals should be weighed against the risk of disease due to Zaire ebolavirus.


Vaccine virus RNA has been detected by RT-PCR in blood, saliva, urine, and fluid from skin vesicles of vaccinated individuals. Transmission of vaccine virus is a theoretical possibility.


The most commonly reported local and systemic adverse events in clinical trials were:

  • Individuals 18 years of age and older: injection-site pain (70%); headache (55%); feverishness (39%); muscle pain (33%); somnolence, reduced activity, fatigue (26%); joint pain, arthralgia (19%); chills (17%); injection-site swelling (17%); decreased appetite (15%); abdominal pain (13%); injection-site redness (12%); nausea (10%); arthritis (5%); vomiting (4%), rash (4%); abnormal sweating (3%) and mouth ulceration (2%).
  • Individuals 12 months through 2 years of age: feverishness (83%); crying (31%); decreased appetite (27%); injection-site pain (26%); somnolence, reduced activity, fatigue (20%); diarrhea (19%); vomiting (17%); irritability (11%); screaming (10%); mouth ulceration (6%); chills (5%); injection-site swelling (5%); headache (4%); abdominal pain (2%); abnormal sweating (2%) and injection-site erythema (1%).
  • Individuals 3 years through 11 years of age: feverishness (65%); headache (50%); injection-site pain (40%); decreased appetite (24%); somnolence, reduced activity, fatigue (22%); abdominal pain (21%); chills (14%); myalgia (12%); vomiting (11%); dizziness (8%); nausea (8%); injection-site pruritus (7%); crying (3%); arthralgia (3%); diarrhea (3%); injection-site swelling (3%); abnormal sweating (1%); mouth ulceration (2%) and irritability (1%).
  • Individuals 12 years through 17 years of age: headache (59%); injection-site pain (52%); feverishness (48%); myalgia (30%); somnolence, reduced activity, fatigue (28%); decreased appetite (21%); chills (19%); dizziness (17%); abdominal pain (16%); arthralgia (16%); nausea (8%); abnormal sweating (5%); diarrhea (4%); vomiting (4%); injection-site pruritus (3%); injection-site swelling (3%) and mouth ulceration (2%).


Interference with Laboratory Tests

Following vaccination with ERVEBO, individuals may test positive for anti-Ebola glycoprotein (GP) antibody and/or Ebola GP nucleic acid or antigens. GP-based testing may have limited diagnostic value during the period of vaccine viremia, in the presence of vaccine-derived Ebola GP, and following antibody response to the vaccine.


There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of ERVEBO in pregnant women, and human data available from clinical trials with ERVEBO are insufficient to establish the presence or absence of vaccine-associated risk during pregnancy.

Human data are not available to assess the impact of ERVEBO on milk production, its presence in breast milk, or its effects on the breastfed child.


ERVEBO® is indicated for the prevention of disease caused by Zaire ebolavirus in individuals 12 months of age and older.

Limitations Of Use

The duration of protection conferred by ERVEBO is unknown. ERVEBO does not protect against other species of Ebolavirus or Marburgvirus. Effectiveness of the vaccine when administered concurrently with antiviral medication, immune globulin (IG), and/or blood or plasma transfusions is unknown.

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