MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2016

Oral cholera vaccine proven effective for five years

A clinical study, published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, recently reported the first ever oral cholera vaccine to prove effective for up to five years against cholera, with a protective efficacy of 65 percent.

The study was jointly conducted by scientists from the International Vaccine Institute, based in Seoul, and the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, a subsidiary of the Indian Council of Medical Research of India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The organizations worked together to combat cholera, a disease that accounts for approximately 91,000 deaths each year.

The vaccine, which was developed specifically for use in developing countries and prequalified for use by the World Health Organization in September 2011, is easy to administer and ideal for use in poor populations across the globe.

"The study results suggest that this vaccine will protect persons at risk of severe cholera for five years," Deputy Director General of Vaccine Development & Delivery at IVI and co-author of the study Dr. Thomas F. Wierzba said. "With protection sustained for five years, we will be able to provide greater benefits to the poor at reduced costs."

A previous study found the oral vaccine to be 66 percent effective over a three year period. The new study confirms almost identical efficacy over a five year period, a sustainability ideal for poor regions where access to medical aids can be limited.

"The vaccine is safe, easy to administer, cost effective, and provides protection for up to five years," IVI Director General Dr. Christina Loucq said. "The use of the vaccine, combined with other control measures, will make it more feasible for developing countries afflicted by cholera to control a disease that plagues millions of people every year."