Gavi, UNICEF Applaud Approval Of New Oral Cholera Vaccine

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Gavi and UNICEF applaud the approval of the new oral cholera vaccine, Euvichol-S, which has received WHO prequalification. This development allows the vaccine to be distributed to countries worldwide.

The pre-qualification of Euvichol-S will enable the manufacturer, EuBiologics to ramp up production, reduce costs, and expedite supply, crucial steps in addressing the current global surge in cholera outbreaks.

The approval is expected to boost the overall supply of oral cholera vaccines in 2024, with an estimated 50 million doses set to be available this year, up from 38 million in 2023. Euvichol-S, a simplified version of Euvichol-Plus, maintains effectiveness against key cholera strains while streamlining production and reducing costs, facilitating faster production of larger volumes.

In a joint statement, Gavi and UNICEF highlighted the escalating global cholera crisis since 2021, emphasising the urgent need for vaccines despite the availability of effective treatments. The unprecedented demand for vaccines due to numerous outbreaks has strained the global stockpile. Efforts are underway to enhance cholera response, prevention and control measures, with a recent announcement of the largest-ever global deployment of cholera diagnostics for surveillance and response support.

Managing director of vaccine markets & health security at Gavi, Dr. Derrick Sim emphasised the significance of Euvichol-S prequalification in aiding vulnerable communities worldwide. The approval comes at a critical time amidst the surge in cholera outbreaks globally. EuBiologics’ role in ensuring global access to cholera vaccines was commended.

While EuBiologics is currently the sole OCV supplier to the global stockpile, other manufacturers are expected to join. While Gavi shapes the OCV market, funds the global stockpile of OCV doses and supports transport and vaccination activities in lower-income countries, UNICEF leads in the procurement and delivery of doses, with emergency response stockpile oversight by the International Coordinating Group for Vaccine Provision (ICG), led by WHO.

Director of UNICEF supply division, Leila Pakkala stressed the importance of the approved vaccine in combating deadly cholera outbreaks. UNICEF has secured access to all available doses and aims to expedite their delivery to countries, significantly boosting procurement and distribution efforts by over 25 per cent.

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