First Outbreak Response Using An Oral Cholera Vaccine in Africa: Vaccine Coverage, Acceptability, and Surveillance of Adverse Events, Guinea, 2012

White flag with red logo of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) against sunny blue sky

© Valérie Batselaere/MSF

Author's Summary

Two safe and effective oral cholera vaccines are recommended by the World Health Organization for 50 cholera prevention and control; however, concerns about the acceptability, potential diversion of 51 resources, cost and feasibility of implementing timely campaigns has discouraged their use. In 2012, the 52 Ministry of Health of Guinea, with the support of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), organized the first mass 53 vaccination campaign using a two-dose oral cholera vaccine (Shanchol) as an additional control measure 54 to respond to an on-going nationwide epidemic. This was also the first time that Shanchol was used in a 55 mass vaccination campaign on the African continent. High coverage was reached within a few weeks, and 56 the campaigns were well accepted by the population. Synergies between different axes in cholera control 57 interventions should be pursued as described here, and although oral cholera vaccines should not be 58 foreseen as the long-term solution for global cholera control, they should be integrated as an additional 59 tool into the outbreak response strategies.