Gavi outlines path to sustainable cholera vaccine supply with key alliance partners, ET HealthWorld

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Geneva: Gavi today published a roadmap outlining critical actions needed to ensure the supply of oral cholera vaccine (OCV) is able to meet growing demand from countries. Released against a backdrop of a recent wave of cholera outbreaks around the world, the roadmap forecasts the short, mid and long-term outlook for global cholera vaccine supply. The roadmap is developed in consultation with the key Alliance partners, including WHO, UNICEF, the Global Taskforce for Cholera Control (GTFCC), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).

“Cholera vaccines have steadily become more available over the past decade, meeting rising country demand,” said Dr Derrick Sim, Managing Director, Vaccine Markets and Health Security, Gavi.
“But what many people do not realize is that every vaccine dose delivered to a person in need today is the result of years of planning, investment, and coordination. As a result, the good news is we have doses to meet all emergency demands despite the rise in outbreaks, and that is expected to continue. But this trend underscores the increasing importance of preventing outbreaks before they occur. The ultimate solution to both sustainable OCV supply and cholera control lies in our collective ability to step up our efforts on prevention programmes,” he added.

The three areas where partners will work together to ensure supply is available to fully support both outbreak response and longer-term preventive vaccination are firstly in the short-term, optimize supply usage and availability, where the alliance partners will work together to provide countries with updated guidance on the best use of OCV in emergency response, to improve the planning of campaigns and optimize the use of doses of an allocation framework is vital.

Secondly, in order for supply to meet the demand for preventive OCV programmes by 2026, countries and partners must keep planning well in advance for these programmes. Both actions are interrelated: predictable and forecastable demand will provide suppliers with accurate signals to ensure the necessary investments are made now to secure future supply, and this security of future supply can guide countries’ preventive cholera plans. The roadmap outlines the range of technical guidance and support needed to ensure countries can accurately map high-risk areas for cholera and plan high-quality, impactful, multi-sectoral, long-term preventive programs.

Lastly, with multiple cholera vaccine candidates in development, it is vital that clear signals are sent on the product innovations that would be most impactful in lower-income countries where these vaccines are most needed (such as higher and longer-lasting protection in children and adults) and how they should be prioritized. Clear protocols and labelling for how long vaccines can be kept outside the cold chain in a campaign or emergency response situation (also known as “controlled temperature chain”, or CTC) would greatly increase usability in lower-income country settings and thus the ability to reach those most in need.Climate change, conflict, and displacement have all contributed to a recent alarming rise in cholera outbreaks, with 30 countries reporting cases or outbreaks in 2022. From 2011-2020, approximately 38 million doses of OCV were used globally in response to cholera outbreaks. In 2021 and 2022, the wave of cholera outbreaks meant that nearly 48 million doses were needed for emergency response in those two years alone.

In the first five years of preventive vaccination with OCV, from 2016 to 2020, roughly half of the supply available in the global OCV stockpile was dedicated to preventive campaigns. While the rise in emergency OCV use has slowed this work over the last two years as available doses were prioritized for emergency response, it has also further underscored the urgent need for preventive vaccination in cholera hotspots.
Gavi and GTFCC partners have supported ad hoc preventive campaigns in 13 countries to date, generating vital learnings that are being leveraged to plan for multi-year preventive cholera vaccination programmes, which are expected to significantly contribute to cholera control in endemic hotspots while longer-term control measures, such as clean water, improved sanitation, and improved surveillance, are put in place.

  • Published On May 22, 2023 at 06:43 PM IST

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