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New Oral Cholera Vaccine Receives WHO Prequalification: Enhancing Global Response Amid Rising Outbreaks

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and UNICEF are celebrating the prequalification of the new oral cholera vaccine (OCV), Euvichol-S, by the World Health Organization (WHO). This milestone heralds increased production of the vaccine by EuBiologics, the manufacturer, at a faster rate and lower cost.

The approval of Euvichol-S comes at a crucial juncture amidst a global surge in cholera outbreaks since 2021. Despite the availability of simple and effective treatments, the high case fatality rates underscore the urgent need for preventive measures like vaccination.

The simplified formulation of Euvichol-S maintains its effectiveness against key cholera serogroups while streamlining production complexity, enabling larger volumes to be produced swiftly.

With approximately 50 million doses forecasted to be available in 2024, compared to 38 million in 2023, the prequalification of Euvichol-S expands the overall supply of OCV. This is significant given the unprecedented demand for vaccines from impacted countries, which has strained the global stockpile of OCV.

Gavi and UNICEF are spearheading efforts to address the cholera crisis, including the deployment of diagnostics for surveillance and response.

Dr. Derrick Sim, Managing Director of Vaccine Markets & Health Security at Gavi, emphasizes the importance of Euvichol-S in supporting vulnerable communities globally. He applauds EuBiologics for their contribution to ensuring widespread access to cholera vaccines as part of comprehensive response efforts.

UNICEF, as the leading procurer and distributor of doses, is committed to swiftly delivering the just-approved vaccine to countries in need.

Leila Pakkala, Director of UNICEF Supply Division, stresses the agency’s dedication to increasing procurement and delivery of cholera vaccines to combat deadly outbreaks effectively.

The prequalification of Euvichol-S marks a significant advancement in global efforts to prevent and control cholera, reaffirming the commitment of partners like Gavi and UNICEF to safeguarding public health worldwide.

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