The First Use of the Global Oral Cholera Vaccine Emergency Stockpile: Lessons from South Sudan
Resource November 17, 2015
- A global oral cholera vaccine (OCV) stockpile was established in 2013 to improve rapid access to the vaccine in outbreaks and emergencies in which cholera risk is high. The first deployment from the global OCV stockpile was to South Sudan in 2014 because of high cholera risk from massive population displacements within the civil war.
- 256,700 doses of OCV were delivered, with high coverage, throughout the country as part of a comprehensive cholera prevention strategy by multiple agencies, some of which had little to no previous experience with this vaccine.
- A cholera epidemic began during vaccination, and a basic comparison of epidemic curves in vaccinated and unvaccinated areas suggests little to no transmission occurred in vaccinated areas, though more in depth analysis is needed.
- This deployment highlights the feasibility of effective deployments from the OCV stockpile and the importance of strong coordination between governmental and nongovernmental agencies in cholera prevention and control planning from the assessment of cholera risk to the deployment of the vaccines.
- A larger global supply of OCV is urgently needed to cover those most in need. With limited vaccine availability now and likely in the upcoming years, more work is needed on deciding how to most efficiently use the vaccine, which may include alternative dosing regimens and targeting specific subpopulations.