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Oral Cholera Vaccines

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© Dr. Kashmira Date/CDC/Bangladesh

Oral cholera vaccines are safe, effective, and acceptable. They present an additional tool for cholera control to supplement, but not to replace, existing priority cholera control measures. With the September 2011 WHO prequalification of a newly manufactured cholera vaccine that is significantly lower in price (50% lower) and simpler to deliver than other cholera vaccines there is increased opportunity to use OCV, either pre-emptively or reactively. Furthermore, the International Coordinating Group (ICG) consisting of MSF, IFRC, UNICEF and WHO has established an OCV stockpile for epidemic response.

UNICEF plays a critical role to advance the understanding of and use of OCV

As part of its strategic and integrated approach to cholera control, UNICEF advocates for the inclusion of OCV into cholera control strategies along with known interventions to contribute to the reduction in the spread and limit illness and death from cholera, particularly in high risk areas and among most vulnerable populations.

To that effect, UNICEF has issued a guidance note on the use of OCV for UNICEF country offices and is engaged as a key partner in global, regional and national level initiatives for their use.
In 2012 UNICEF established guidance for the use of Oral Cholera Vaccines, this document, in both English and French are available here.

UNICEF is a key member of the ICG for the development of the OCV stockpile and the accompanying tools and guidance and is a member of the decision making body to release OCV upon request by countries. In addition UNICEF has received a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to strengthen the use of OCV in epidemic and humanitarian settings and to build country capacity to draw down on the stockpile and to use OCV as part of an integrated approach with other cholera control interventions.

More information about the vaccine can be found on the World Health Organisation website www.who.int/topics/cholera/vaccines/en/ and on the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health website www.stopcholera.org.

Integrating OCV into a Communication Strategy for Cholera Prevention and Control
UNICEF plays a key role in communication for development and has significant experience with communication strategies for cholera prevention and control (see the Communication for Development section of this website).

To help UNICEF teams and partners integrate OCV into broader cholera communication strategies, UNICEF has developed a tool, the Framework for Developing an Integrated Communication Strategy for the Introduction of Oral Cholera Vaccine in Cholera Prevention and Control Programmes. It helps identify key messages and target audiences for OCV implementation. 

 Cholera Frameworkbook Icon 

Click to open the C4D OCV 
Introduction Framework. 

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The UNICEF 2012 Guidance note on the use of Oral Cholera Vaccines.

The WHO 2010 position paper on the use of oral cholera vaccines.




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