Shantha’s cholera vaccine achieves 10 mn doses milestone

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Hyderabad, July 5 (IANS) Shantha Biotechnics, the Hyderabad-based affiliate of global healthcare major Sanofi’s vaccine division Sanofi Pasteur on Wednesday announced that it has reached the milestone of having delivered 10 million doses of its cholera vaccine, Shanchol.

The vaccine received the World Health Organization (WHO) pre-qualification in 2011 and since then, the product has been shipped to 25 countries across the world, the company said.

In 2011, the World Health Assembly recognized the re-emergence of cholera as a significant public health burden and threat. Major cholera outbreaks around the world have been reported from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, countries of the Horn of Africa, Mozambique, South Sudan and Yemen.

“We estimate that the 10 million doses of Shanchol could potentially have saved close to five million people – especially those living in high-risk, endemic areas – from cholera. Since 2013, Shantha Biotechnics’s impact on public health through the supply of oral cholera vaccine to WHO has contributed significantly to global cholera control,” said Sanofi’s Managing Director, India and Vice President, South Asia Shailesh Ayyangar.

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Cholera, an acute watery diarrhoeal disease, caused by toxigenic strains of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae O1 and O139, is estimated to cause more than 2.9 million cases and 95,000 deaths annually in cholera endemic countries alone, and frequent epidemics in other settings that have poor water and sanitation infrastructure.

“There were many occasions when the time to deliver the vaccines was very short. In October 2016, the WHO asked Shantha Biotechnics to deliver 510,000 doses of Shanchol to Iraq. The Ministry of Health in Iraq wanted to launch a major vaccination campaign to combat a cholera outbreak situation. This was the single biggest shipment of cholera vaccine which Shantha delivered within 11 days,” said Shantha Biotechnics Executive Director and COO Mahesh Bhalgat.

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