We all take the common fridge for granted. At home it keeps the beer cold and milk fresh, in pharmacies industrial sized fridges keep our vaccines potent. But what if you live in a country where infrastructure is poor, fridges are a luxury and electricity is unreliable?
“This is a significant milestone in our efforts towards effective cholera prevention and control. The WHO’s approval will help us make our vaccine available to populations living in remote, hard-to-reach areas of India and other parts of the world, especially ones with erratic electricity supply.”
Dr. Mahesh Bhalgat,
Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of Shantha Biotechnics, an affiliate of Sanofi Pasteur in India.1
Freeing up time maintaining the cold chain builds in a whole new flexibility that will help improve delivery of Shantha’s cholera vaccine and increase efficiency of mass vaccination campaigns, whether they occur in urban centers, rural areas, or outermost regions, by reaching more people.
“Cholera is an easily preventable disease that has no place in the 21st century. This important development will make it easier to deliver vaccines to the remote areas where it is desperately needed, saving lives and contributing to the global effort to finally consign this disease to the history books.”
Deputy CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
Humanitarian and international organizations have to respond to multiple cholera outbreaks causing havoc and deaths in communities already hit by poverty, conflict, or natural disasters.2 Since WHO pre-qualification in 2011, 12 million doses of Shantha’s vaccine have been shipped to 25 countries across the world, including Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Mozambique, and South Sudan. The largest ever shipment took place in September 2017 when Shantha responded to an urgent call for humanitarian help from international agencies and sent 900,000 doses to Nigeria to respond to the country’s cholera epidemic.
1Shantha Biotechnics, an affiliate of Sanofi Pasteur in India, is a fully integrated biotechnology company involved in R&D, manufacturing and marketing. Shantha was founded by Dr. K I Varaprasad Reddy in 1993 in Hyderabad. Sanofi Pasteur is Sanofi’s Vaccines Global Business Unit.
2Several large-scale outbreaks, surges in endemic cholera, and multiple humanitarian emergencies have recently occurred in many parts of the world, including Burundi, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Soudan, Tanzania, Zambia, and just recently in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Yemen.