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Jan 11, 2016 10:09 AM EST

Supply for oral cholera vaccine to double this year

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According to a statement released on Friday by the World Health Organization (WHO), the supply for oral cholera vaccine will double in 2016, Pulse headlines reports.

This is attributed to the approval of the United Nation's agency of a third manufacturer, the South Korean company EuBiologics.

As a result of the license given to the new vaccine producer, the WHO expects global supply to increase to 6 million doses this year, with further increases later. The will help nations fight outbreaks of cholera.

Currently, two manufacturers supply 3 million doses of the oral vaccine.

"This additional capacity will contribute to reversing a vicious cycle of low demand, low production, high price and inequitable distribution, to a virtuous cycle of increased demand, increased production, reduced price and greater equity of access," the WHO said in the release.

According to Techtimes, Stephen Martin, from WHO's Emergency Vaccines and Stockpiles Division, said that WHO had more demand than it could meet last year. This resulted in the agency turning down requests from Haiti and Sudan for the vaccine.

The approval is part of the WHO's prequalification program to ensure the safety, quality and efficiency of drugs that are bought by countries and agencies like UNICEF.

Since 1997, oral vaccines have been used as part of mass vaccination campaigns for cholera following humanitarian emergencies.

However, there has always been little demand for the oral vaccines because cholera affects those poor communities more that are generally unaware of the vaccine's existence.

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