Cholera is spread by contaminated food and water. It is rare in travelers, as outbreaks tend to occur in areas with poor sanitation. An oral vaccine is available for those at risk (e.g. those working in slum areas, refugee camps or hospitals, those visiting friends and family in areas reporting cases, military personnel in conflict zones, and those visiting rural areas with recent outbreaks).
The vaccine is administered by orally (dissolved in a glass of water), and contains killed cholera cells and toxin.
Travellers with journeys to remote areas where cholera epidemics are occurring and there is limited access to medical care. Additional vaccine information: Food and drink should be avoided for one hour before and one hour after vaccination. Oral administration of other medicinal products should be avoided within one hour before and after administration of the vaccine.
Three doses over a period of 2-3 months.
The primary course of the immunisation must be restarted if more than six weeks have elapsed between the first and second doses or if more than two years have elapsed since the last vaccination. These recommendations are unique to this vaccine.
General issues: The vaccine is not recommended for prevention of the syndrome of travellers’ diarrhoea since it is only one of the many bacteria, viruses and protozoa that cause this syndrome. Specific issues: A confirmed anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose of oral cholera vaccine, or a confirmed anaphylactic reaction to formaldehyde or any of the components of the vaccine.
No data are available on the safety of oral cholera vaccine in pregnant or breast-feeding women. There is no evidence of risk from vaccinating pregnant women or those who are breast-feeding. If the risk of cholera is high then the vaccine should be considered.
Serious adverse events, including a flu-like syndrome, rash, arthralgia and paraesthesiae are rare, occurring in fewer than one per 10,000 doses distributed