Home » Supplies of cholera vaccines have been exhausted worldwide, while cholera outbreaks are increasing

Supplies of cholera vaccines have been exhausted worldwide, while cholera outbreaks are increasing

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The global supply of cholera vaccines has run out as deadly outbreaks continue to rise. The New York Times newspaper reported this on Friday.

Source: BELGA

Yesterday at 6:43 PM

According to the newspaper, the news does not come as a surprise: the stock has been at a dangerously low level for years. Efforts are underway to increase production, but even then only a quarter of what is needed this year could be met. Vaccines are currently being administered at the pace of production, it sounds.

Currently, only one company is producing the vaccine, South Korea’s EuBiologics. The newspaper quotes experts as saying the company is making “heroic” efforts to increase production. In addition, three other companies are setting up production lines. Still, it could take years to replenish supplies.

But by the end of February, countries had already reported 79,300 confirmed cases, with 1,100 deaths – and that is likely an underestimate. In order to continue with supplies for longer, the World Health Organization (WHO) was forced to no longer administer two but one doses in 2022, even though this reduced the duration of protection.

Last year, countries requested 76 million doses for campaigns in places with active outbreaks. With barely 38 million doses in stock, only half could be met. There was no room for prevention, such as in the Gaza Strip where all the elements are present for a major outbreak.

“The race to produce more cholera vaccines shows why it is so difficult to respond to epidemics. Even if drug manufacturers are involved who are not deterred by the small profit margins when vaccinating poor people in particular,” the newspaper writes

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Cholera spreads through contaminated water. The current outbreaks are the result of conflict and climate disasters, creating overcrowded places without adequate sanitary facilities.

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