Progress and Challenges in Using Oral Cholera Vaccines to Control Outbreaks: The Médecins Sans Frontières Experience
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AbstractThe use of oral cholera vaccine (OCV) has increased since 2011, when Shanchol, the first OCV suitable for large-scale use, became available. Médecins Sans Frontières considers OCVs an essential cholera outbreak control tool and has contributed to generating new evidence on OCV use in outbreaks. We showed that large-scale mass campaigns are feasible during outbreaks, documented high short-term effectiveness and showed that vaccines are likely safe in pregnancy. We found that a single-dose regimen has high short-term effectiveness, making rapid delivery of vaccine during outbreaks easier, especially given the on-going global vaccine shortage. Despite progress, OCV has still not been used widely in some of the largest recent outbreaks and thousands of cholera deaths are reported every year. While working towards improving our tools to protect those most at-risk of cholera, we must strive to use all available effective interventions in efficient ways, including OCV, to prevent avoidable deaths today.
PublisherOxford University Press