UPDATED: Gavi, UNICEF Gavi Hail New Oral Cholera Vaccine Prequalification

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and UNICEF Thursday commended the prequalification of a new oral cholera vaccine (OCV), Euvichol-S, by WHO.

Africa Health Report Thursday reported that with the WHO’s prequalification the vaccine can be made available to countries around the world.

In a joint statement Thursday, they said the prequalification of the new product would help EuBiologics, the manufacturer, to produce more volumes of vaccine, faster, and at a lower cost – a key step to expanding supply amidst the ongoing acute global upsurge of cholera outbreaks.

The statement disclosed that the approval would help increase the overall supply of OCV available in 2024, with approximately 50 million doses now forecasted to be available to the global stockpile this year, compared to 38 million in 2023.

Cholera has been surging globally since 2021, with high case fatality rates despite availability of simple, effective and affordable treatment.

The large number of outbreaks has led to unprecedented demand for vaccines from impacted countries.

Dr Derrick Sim, Managing Director of Vaccine Markets & Health Security at Gavi, said prequalification of Euvichol-S represents a lifeline for vulnerable communities around the world.

Leila Pakkala, Director of UNICEF Supply Division, said despite cholera being preventable and easily treatable, children continue to suffer from the potentially fatal disease.

The development of Euvichol-S is a collaboration between EuBiologics, the International Vaccine Institute (IVI), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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