(The Monitor Daily, US) – WHO approves third cholera vaccine manufacturer to meet up this year’s demand for the vaccine. South Korean-based pharmaceutical company, EUBiologics will step up the process of manufacturing additional doses of the cholera vaccine.
According to the reports posted by the World Health Organization, each year approximately 4.3 million people, worldwide, contract cholera, a waterborne disease which causes diarrhea and dehydration.
Cholera is contracted from infected water sources. If left untreated, a patient could die in just a couple of hours due to massive dehydration. Nearly 142.000 people die each year due to cholera-related complications.
In order to fight against the disease, each affected country rolls out massive inoculation campaigns. The cholera vaccine, being in high demand, naturally cannot reach all destinations.
With this in mind, WHO approves third cholera vaccine manufacturer to start the production of this vaccine, which seems to be in very high demand. With EUBiologics stepping in, WHO expects the global vaccine stockpile to double up in the following months.
According to their projections, the South Korean-based pharmaceutical company should deliver an additional 3 million doses of oral vaccines.
Stephen Martin, a member of WHO’s epidemic containment unit said that the total number of vaccines would reach 6 million after EUBiologics joined the fight against the disease. According to the medical specialists, an individual coming down with cholera needs two doses to be fully protected against the disease.
Martin also stressed out that the oral vaccine was and is in very high demand. Last year, Haiti and Sudan filled out an application to receive additional cholera vaccines. The two countries were conducting pre-emptive campaigns against cholera and were short on medication.
Unfortunately, due to a worldwide shortage of the oral vaccine, their demand could not be met. According to the same report, corroborated with Martin’s statement, most of the vaccine stockpile went to Iraq, last year.
Iraq was conducting a massive vaccination campaign after discovering nearly 2800 individuals infected with cholera. WHO diverted available stockpile to the country in need. The inoculation campaign ended in December. After a couple of follow-ups, WHO declared Iraq cholera-free.
With South Korea stepping up, the price of producing the oral vaccine could drop from $1.80 to $1.45. Apart from the EUBiologics, there are two more companies who produce the vaccines: Shantha Biotechnics from Indian and Crucell from Sweden.
In 2014, Shantha Biotechnics was the only company producing cholera dose for WHO’s stockpile. The Indian company managed to produce approximately 3 million doses.
WHO approves third cholera vaccine manufacturer to resupply the stockpile diminished by the outbreaks of cholera in Haiti and Sudan. The idea of a worldwide stockpile of medicine has been around for 15 years.