South Korea’s Euvicol is the latest oral cholera vaccine (OCV) manufacturer to be approved under the WHO’s pre-qualification program. The addition of an additional pre-qualified vaccine producer is expected to double global supply to 6 million doses for 2016, with the potential for further increased production and a reduction in pricing in the future.
The increase of a cost efficient vaccine will allow for a more inequitable distribution of OCV to countries in need. This is welcome news says Dr. Stephen Martin, an expert in WHO’s Emergency Vaccines and Stockpiles Division. “We have used it largely in outbreaks in humanitarian crises. But, this additional production will permit us to perhaps go even further to start using the vaccine in endemic situations, where choler outbreaks are predictable”.
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has committed US$115 million over the next 5 years to expand availability and the use of vaccine in countries with endemic cholera.