CDC expert Dr. Karen Wong discusses the risk for cholera in travelers, how it can be prevented, and use of the new vaccine.
Vaxchora® (lyophilized CVD 103-HgR)
The FDA recently approved a single-dose live oral cholera vaccine called Vaxchora (lyophilized CVD 103-HgR) in the United States. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to approve the vaccine for adults 18 – 64 years old who are traveling to an area of active cholera transmission.
- An area of active cholera transmission is defined as a province, state, or other administrative subdivision within a country where cholera infections may be reported regularly (endemic) or where a cholera outbreak is occurring (epidemic), and includes areas with cholera activity within the past year.
- The vaccine is not regularly recommended for most travelers from the United States, as most travelers do not visit areas with active cholera transmission.
- No country or territory currently requires vaccination against cholera as a condition for entry.
Vaxchora has been reported to reduce the chance of severe diarrhea in people by 90% at 10 days after vaccination and by 80% at 3 months after vaccination. The safety and effectiveness of Vaxchora in pregnant or breastfeeding women is not yet known, and it is also not known how long protection lasts beyond 3 – 6 months after getting the vaccine. Side effects from Vaxchora are uncommon and may include tiredness, headache, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, lack of appetite, and diarrhea.
Additional information about Vaxchora can be obtained from the manufacturers at www.vaxchora.com.
Dukoral® and ShanChol®
Two other oral inactivated, or non-live cholera vaccines are available: Dukoral (manufactured by SBL Vaccines) and ShanChol (manufactured by Shantha Biotec in India). These cholera vaccines are World Health Organization (WHO) prequalified, but are not available in the U.S.
Cholera vaccines offer incomplete protection. Therefore, vaccination should never take the place of standard prevention and control measures.
For more information on cholera vaccines visit WHO Cholera Vaccines.
Further information about Dukoral® and ShanChol® can be obtained from the manufacturers:
SBL Vaccin AB,
SE-105 21 Stockholm, Sweden
Shantha Biotechnics Limited
No. 274, Athvelli Village, Mechal Mandel 501 401 Ranga Reddy District, Andhra Pradesh, India
Telephone +91-40-23234104 (5)
- Page last reviewed: October 20, 2017
- Page last updated: October 20, 2017
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