The first trial, of the vaccine for the oral cholera, Shanchol, was successful. This means it is safe to use and it is effective against this disease. Researchers determined that the vaccine reduces the risk of certain cases of cholera by 40%. The trial was conducted in Bangladesh, where this disease is endemic. The vaccine represents the first step in controlling outbreaks and developing mass programs for vaccination.
This drug is one of two vaccines against cholera that are internationally licensed. In general, cholera vaccines have been used for traveler’s protection. However, they have never been used for controlling the disease in certain epidemic region. The vaccine is cheap to make, it is effective and it can be easily distributed to the people. But, until now, it has never been tested in mass group and in real-life conditions. This study included 27.000 people aged 1 or older from the city of Dhaka (one part of it). Due to poor sanitation and too many people, this area has higher cholera infection risk.
Residents of aforementioned area, were prescribed: an oral use, an oral use plus program that should improve hand-washing and no intervention. All of those people, who were under the treatment, received the vaccine in 14 days apart. However, just 50% of the residents received the complete dose of the vaccine. The incidence of severe cholera was reduced by 37% after the period of 2 years. The results were even better for the group that admitted the vaccine and they were under a drinking water and hand washing program. The risk was lower by 45%. Researchers determined that the vaccine gave 53% of the protection against cholera.