The Korea Herald


New oral cholera vaccine receives WHO approval

By Lee Woo-young

Published : Nov. 13, 2011 - 19:44

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A new vaccine to control endemic cholera and large-scale outbreaks around the world, received approval by the World Health Organization, according to the Seoul-based International Vaccine Institute, which developed the vaccine.

Developed by the IVI, the vaccine is produced by Shanta Biotechnics, an Indian biotechnology company, with financial support from Gates Foundation, and the governments of Korea and Sweden.

The IVI said that the vaccine will help facilitate large-scale immunization since it can be administered orally, will be low cost, and is effective for children aged under six.

The IVI plans to introduce the vaccine in countries where cholera remains a major public health problem in Africa and South Asia. It estimates that there have been nearly 3 million cases requiring treatment and about 94,000 deaths due to cholera in those regions.

“In light of the devastating cholera outbreaks in Haiti, Pakistan, Nepal and in several countries of Africa, there is a clear need for a solution to halt the countless deaths and suffering,” said Dr. Christian Loucq, director general of the IVI.

“A vaccine like Shanchol should positively impact public health efforts to control cholera in these countries.”

The IVI, established in 1997 as an U.N. initiative, is an independent international health organization devoted to developing and introducing vaccines to protect the poor around the world under a treaty signed by 40 countries and the WHO.

By Lee Woo-young (