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Cholera: WHO rations vaccines to preserve stocks amid rising outbreaks

BMJ 2022; 379 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.o2528 (Published 21 October 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;379:o2528
  1. Luke Taylor
  1. Bogota

Countries confronting outbreaks of cholera will have to administer half the recommended doses of vaccines because a global resurgence is exhausting international stockpiles, the World Health Organization announced on 19 October.

The International Coordinating Group, which organises global supplies of emergency vaccines, will now administer a single dose instead of two, as the number of jabs available is dangerously low. The group’s “exceptional decision” reflected the “grave state of the cholera vaccine stockpile,” WHO said in a statement.1

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director general, told a press conference in Geneva that halving the vaccine doses would reduce the level of immunity in people getting vaccinated against the bacterial disease but that the organisation was left with no choice, as poverty and climate change were fuelling a global resurgence of cholera.

“The current wave of outbreaks is putting unprecedented pressure on the stockpile,” he …

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