In January the World Health Organization announced it was launching its efforts at mass vaccination against cholera using a new oral vaccine against the disease.
For this demonstration project, WHO is focusing on Mozambique which has been hit particularly hard by the disease in recent years. In 1999, it reported 45,000 cases out of a world total that usually hovers between 100,000-200,000 annually.
The vaccination project will focus on the city of Beria and will vaccinate about 50,000 of the half million people living there against the disease. WHO will be able to gauge the success of its efforts there in early 2005.
Should the vaccine prove effective, it is likely to play a key role in reducing worldwide cholera incidence.
WHO launches first oral-vaccination cholera campaign. UN Wire, January 15, 2004.
Mozambique mass campaign tests the theory. Press Release, World Health Organization, January 14, 2004.
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