Single dose of cholera vaccine may interrupt epidemic

Single dose of cholera vaccine may interrupt epidemic. | Courtesy of
Researchers recently conducted a study that suggests a single dose of a cholera vaccine may provide people with adequate protection to stop the progress of the cholera epidemic.

This is an important discovery as the new vaccine for cholera is already running short in supplies.

Currently, the World Health Organization (WHO) is working to stockpile two million doses of the latest licensed oral cholera vaccine. Unfortunately, this stockpile is much too low to meet the demands: approximately 1.4 billion people worldwide are considered at risk for cholera.

“Even if a one-dose isn’t 50 percent as efficacious as a two-dose, it’s still the better strategy because when responding to an outbreak, the important thing is to get as much vaccine into the population as quickly as possible," Justin Lessler, a leader of the study and an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health, said.

Cholera, which is contracted from drinking water that is contaminated with human waste, typically follows close behind a natural disaster.

“By using a one-dose campaign, you can protect the same number of people and protect them earlier, so you ultimately prevent more cases of the disease than if you’d used the two dose protocol,” Lessler said.

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World Health Organization 20 Avenue Appia Geneva, GE 01202

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health 615 North Wolfe Street Baltimore, MD 21205

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