Vaccines for preventing cholera: killed whole cell or other subunit vaccines (injected)

Added April 10, 2013

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Injected cholera vaccines appear to be safe and relatively more effective than usually realized. Protection against cholera persists for up to two years following a single dose of vaccine, and for three years with an annual booster. However, they have been superseded by oral vaccines.

Vaccination against cholera was first tested in the nineteenth century and may play a role in controlling epidemics. Injected (parenteral) whole cell vaccines were used in the 1960s and 1970s, but they went out of favour as their efficacy was thought to be low and short-lived, and associated with a high rate of adverse effects. This review evaluates killed whole cell (KWC) cholera vaccines and other inactive subunit vaccines (administered by injection) for preventing cholera and death, and aims to evaluate the adverse effects. A separate Cochrane Review about oral cholera vaccines, which were introduced more recently and are used currently, is in progress.