The World Health Organization says the temporary suspension of the two-dose strategy of cholera vaccines is suspended due to shortage. “A strained global supply of cholera vaccines has obliged the International Coordinating Group (ICG) – the body which manages emergency supplies of vaccines- to temporarily suspend the standard two-dose vaccination regimen in cholera outbreak response campaigns, using instead a single-dose approach”, WHO said.
In a press statement, WHO said “the Pivot in strategy will allow for the doses to be used in more countries, at a time of unprecedented rise in cholera outbreaks worldwide”.
WHO said “since January this year, 29 countries have reported cholera cases, including Haiti, Malawi and Syria which are facing large outbreaks”. The findings by WHO shows that the report in the outbreak has increased compared to the last five years.
Report shows that “the global trend is moving towards more numerous, more widespread and more severe outbreaks, due to floods, droughts, conflict, population movements and other factors that limit access to clean water and raise the risk of cholera outbreaks”.
“The one dose strategy has proven to be effective to respond to outbreak, even though evidence on the exact duration of protection is limited, and protection appears to be much lower in children. With a two-dose regimen, when the second dose is administered within 6 months of the first, immunity against infection lasts for 3 years”.
“….as vaccine manufacturers are producing at their maximum current capacity, there is no short term solution to increase production. The temporary suspension of the two-dose strategy will allow the remaining doses to be redirected for any needs for the rest of the year”
“This is a short term solution but to ease the problem in the longer-term, urgent action is needed to increase global vaccine production. The ICG will continue to monitor the global epidemiological trends as well as the status of the cholera vaccine stockpile, and will review this decision regularly”, said WHO.