Designing a Study of Correlates of Risk for Ebola Vaccination.


The rVSV Ebola vaccine was shown to be very efficacious in a novel ring vaccination trial in Guinea. However, no correlates of vaccine protection have been established for Ebola vaccines. Several Ebola vaccine candidates are available, but conducting randomized trials of additional candidates in outbreaks is difficult. Establishing correlates of vaccine protection is essential. Here we explore power and sample size calculations to evaluate potential correlates of risk during an Ebola vaccination campaignin an outbreak. The method requires a blood draw be made at a predetermined time after vaccination. The statistical analysis estimates the relative risk of the Ebola endpoint occurring after the blood draw through to the end of follow-up, contrasting vaccine recipients with different values of the immune response marker. The analysis can be done assuming a trichotomous or continuous marker. Under certain assumptions, at an overall vaccine efficacy of 75%, 50 Ebola endpoints in the vaccinees provided good power. At an overall vaccine efficacy of 90%, 20 Ebola endpoints gave good power. Power was highest when more vaccinees were in the high and low responder groups versus the middle group and when vaccine efficacy differed the most between the high and low responder groups.