SUNDAY, JUNE 24, 2018

Oral cholera vaccine shows 86 percent protection in Guinea outbreak

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday showed that the oral cholera vaccine Shanchol protected individuals by 86 percent during a recent outbreak in Guinea.

This is the first study to show that Shanchol provides quick protection that can be used to control future outbreaks.

The study was conducted by Epicentre, the research arm of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the Guinean Ministry of Health. It looked at the efficacy of two complete doses of Shanchol in the first month after administration. Shanchol is the more affordable and easier to produce, transport and store, of the two WHO pre-qualified oral vaccines currently available.

The vaccine is now being stockpiled by the World Health Organization for emergency use.

The Guinean Ministry of Health and MSF administered 316,250 doses of the vaccine in two rounds in the coastal districts of Boffa and Forecariah over a six-week period, beginning in April 2012. The campaign managed to cover 75.8 percent of people in Boffa and 75.9 percent in Forecariah.

Most cholera cases were confirmed in areas that had the lowest vaccination coverage. Those who had two complete doses of Shanchol were revealed to have an 86 percent protection rate against the disease.

"The results, on both the effectiveness and feasibility of oral cholera vaccines during an actual emergency, will hopefully bolster efforts to integrate vaccines in the global response to cholera outbreaks," Rebecca Grais, the senior author of the publication, said.