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

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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.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We performed a cross-sectional cluster survey and implemented adverse event surveillance. The study population included individuals older than 12 months, eligible for vaccination, and residing in the areas targeted for vaccination (Forecariah and Boffa, Guinea). Data sources were household interviews with verification by vaccination card and notifications of adverse events from surveillance at vaccination posts and health centres. In total 5,248 people were included in the survey, 3,993 in Boffa and 1,255 in Forecariah. Overall, 89.4% [95%CI:86.4-91.8%] and 87.7% [95%CI:84.2-90.6%] were vaccinated during the first round and 79.8% [95%CI:75.6-83.4%] and 82.9% [95%CI:76.6-87.7%] during the second round in Boffa and Forecariah respectively. The two dose vaccine coverage (including card and oral reporting) was 75.8% [95%CI: 71.2-75.9%] in Boffa and 75.9% [95%CI: 69.8-80.9%] in Forecariah respectively. Vaccination coverage was higher in children. The main reason for non-vaccination was absence. No severe adverse events were notified.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The well-accepted mass vaccination campaign reached high coverage in a remote area with a mobile population. Although OCV should not be foreseen as the long-term solution for global cholera control, they should be integrated as an additional tool into the response.