Lessons learnt from 12 oral cholera vaccine campaig ns in resource-poor settings

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Published
2017
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Improving water and sanitation is the preferred choice for cholera control in the long-term. Nevertheless, vaccination is an available too l that has been shown to be a cost‒effective option for cholera prevention in endemic countries or during outbreaks. In 2011 the first low-cost oral cholera vaccine for international use was given prequalification by the World Health Organization (WHO). To increase and prioritize use of the vaccine, WHO created a global stockpile in 2013 from which countries may request oral cholera vaccine for reactive campaigns. WHO has issued specific guidelines for applying for the vaccine, which was previously in short supply (despite prequalification for a second oral vaccine in 2015). The addition of a third WHO-prequalified oral cholera vaccine in 2016 is expected to increase the global stockpile considerably and alleviate supply issues. However, prioritization and best use of the vaccine (e.g. how, when and where to use) will remain challenges. We describe 12 past oral cholera vaccine campaigns, conducted in settings with varying burdens of cholera. These case studies illustrate three key challenges faced in the use of the oral cholera vaccines: regulatory hurdles, cold chain logistics and vaccine coverage and uptake. To pave the way for the introduction of current and future oral cholera vaccines, we discuss operational challenges and make recommendations for future research with respect to each of these challenges.