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WHO Prequalifies New Oral Cholera Vaccine, Euvichol-S, to Bolster Global Response

On April 12, the World Health Organization (WHO) granted prequalification status to a novel oral vaccine for cholera. The inactivated oral vaccine, Euvichol-S, offers similar efficacy to existing vaccines but boasts a simplified formulation, facilitating rapid scalability in production capacity.

Dr. Rogerio Gaspar, Director of the WHO Department for Regulation and Prequalification, emphasized the significance of this new addition, stating, “The new vaccine is the third product of the same family of vaccines we have for cholera in our WHO prequalification list. The new prequalification is hoped to enable a rapid increase in production and supply which many communities battling with cholera outbreaks urgently need.”

Previously, the WHO prequalification list included Euvichol and Euvichol-Plus, both inactivated oral cholera vaccines produced by EuBiologicals Co., Ltd, Republic of Korea, the same manufacturer behind Euvichol-S.

Vaccination stands as the swiftest intervention to prevent, mitigate, and manage cholera outbreaks. However, amidst dire shortages in other areas of cholera prevention and management such as safe water, hygiene, and sanitation, vaccine supplies have dwindled.

In 2022, WHO reported 473,000 cholera cases, double the number from the previous year. An additional surge of 700,000 cases was estimated for 2023. Presently, 23 countries are grappling with cholera outbreaks, with severe impacts observed in the Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Somalia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

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