Now Reading
Severe Cholera Vaccine Shortage Worries WHO

Severe Cholera Vaccine Shortage Worries WHO

The World Health Organisation reports a rise in cases and deaths in 2024 and says the response to the disease is affected by a lack of immunisers; the global resurgence of cholera has been classified with the highest level of emergency; conflicts, unplanned urbanisation and climate change increase the risk of transmission.

From 1 January to 28 April 2024, a cumulative total of 145,900 cholera cases and 1,766 deaths were reported in 24 countries in five World Health Organisation (WHO) regions.

Africa recorded the highest numbers, followed by the Eastern Mediterranean, the Americas, South-East Asia and Europe. No outbreaks were reported in the Western Pacific region during this period.

Global vaccine stocks depleted
The response to cholera continues to be affected by a severe shortage of oral vaccines. Since January 2023, requests for the immuniser have increased, with 82 million doses requested by 15 countries, almost double the 46 million doses produced during this period.

The world’s vaccine reserves were exhausted by the beginning of March. As of 6 May 2024, the stockpile had 3.2 million doses, which is below the global target of 5 million doses.

Although the global supply of oral cholera vaccines increased eighteenfold between 2013 and 2023, the huge growth in demand compared to current availability has put a strain on global reserves.

According to the WHO, many preventive vaccination campaigns have had to be postponed in order to preserve doses for emergency outbreak response efforts.

Disease classified with highest level of emergency
The WHO classified the global resurgence of cholera as a grade 3 emergency in January 2023, the highest level for emergencies.

In 2024, based on the number of outbreaks and geographical expansion, along with the scarcity of vaccines and other resources, the WHO reassessed the risk at a global level as very high and the disease remains classified as a grade 3 emergency.

Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal illness that can kill within hours if left untreated. It is considered a ‘disease of poverty’ that affects people with inadequate access to drinking water and basic sanitation.

See Also

According to the WHO, conflicts, unplanned urbanisation and climate change increase the risk of cholera.

ONU News


Scroll To Top

We have detected that you are using AdBlock Plus or other adblocking software which is causing you to not be able to view 360 Mozambique in its entirety.

Please add to your adblocker’s whitelist or disable it by refreshing afterwards so you can view the site.