OCV campaign in Guinea shows vaccination can be done - even during an outbreak

Denise DeRoeck

Independent Consultant

Ever since the first oral cholera vaccines (OCVs) appeared on the global market in 1991, many in the international health community have been skeptical about its use to control an ongoing outbreak. A major argument against reactive cholera vaccination – vaccination in response to an outbreak – was that most countries experiencing cholera outbreaks could not successfully mount vaccination campaigns quickly and that the campaign would divert time, effort and resources from more effective and longer-term measures for controlling cholera, such as improvements in water and sanitation and health education.

First outbreak response using an oral cholera vaccine in Africa: vaccine coverage, acceptability and surveillance of adverse events, Guinea, 2012

Article published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases on 17-Oct-2013 by Luquero, F. J. et al.

BACKGROUND: Despite World Health Organization (WHO) prequalification of two safe and effective oral cholera vaccines (OCV), concerns about the acceptability, potential diversion of resources, cost and feasibility of implementing timely campaigns has discouraged their use. In 2012, the Ministry of Health of Guinea, with the support of Medecins Sans Frontieres organized the first mass vaccination campaign using a two-dose OCV (Shanchol) as an additional control measure to respond to the on-going nationwide epidemic. Overall, 316,250 vaccines were delivered. Here, we present the results of vaccination coverage, acceptability and surveillance of adverse events.

Feasibility of mass vaccination campaign with oral cholera vaccines in response to an outbreak in Guinea

Article published in PLoS Medicine on 10-Sep-2013 by Ciglenecki, I. et al.

Iza Ciglenecki and colleagues from Medecins sans Frontieres report their experience of undertaking a mass vaccination campaign with oral cholera vaccines in response to an outbreak in Guinea. The authors provide the following summary points: