A Multi-year Project Funded by the Wellcome Trust

Led by investigators at three major U.S. universities, our interdisciplinary team of scholars seeks ethical solutions to ensure that the health needs of pregnant women and their offspring are appropriately included in research efforts addressing emerging public health crises.

Our Work

The Pregnancy Research Ethics for Vaccines, Epidemics, and New Technologies (PREVENT) project is committed to developing concrete, actionable, consensus-driven ethics guidance on how to equitably include the interests of pregnant women and their offspring in vaccine research and development (R&D) for priority pathogens and emerging epidemic threats.

Our approach is multi-disciplinary, bringing together a team of scholars and scientists with expertise in bioethics, maternal immunization, maternal-fetal medicine, obstetrics, pediatrics, philosophy, public health, and vaccine research.

In our first year, we developed guidance specific to the Zika crisis: Pregnant Women & the Zika Virus Vaccine Research Agenda: Ethics Guidance on Priorities, Inclusion, and Evidence Generation. This Guidance is the product of The Ethics Working Group on ZIKV Research & Pregnancy, an interdisciplinary group of international experts in vaccinology, maternal and child health, public health and ethics.

We are now expanding our focus to develop a more generalizable ethics framework to guide the vaccine R&D enterprise toward more inclusive approaches that will ensure pregnant women and their offspring can fairly benefit from vaccines against emerging pathogens and epidemic threats.