Cholera Vaccine Supply to Double

Cholera Vaccine Supply to DoubleCholera Vaccine Supply to Double

The global supply of oral cholera vaccine (OCV) is set to double after WHO approved a third producer, helping to address global shortages and expand access in more countries.

Globally, OCV production is low, with demand currently exceeding supply. Sudan and Haiti last year made requests to the WHO for supplies of vaccines to conduct preemptive vaccination campaigns that could not be fulfilled because of the global shortage, the WHO website reported.  The vaccine producer, a South Korean company, is the latest oral cholera vaccine manufacturer to be approved under the WHO’s pre-qualification program.

Addition of the pre-qualified vaccine producer is expected to double global supply to six million doses for 2016, with the potential for further increase in production.  Cholera is an acute diarrheal disease that can kill within hours if untreated. There are between 1.4 million and 4.3 million cases a year, and as many as 142,000 deaths.