Oral cholera vaccination strategy: Self-administration of the second dose in urban Dhaka, Bangladesh.


International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research Bangladesh (icddr,b), Dhaka, Bangladesh. Electronic address: [Email]


Cholera remains a major public health problem in many developing countries including Bangladesh. The oral cholera vaccine (OCV) is now considered a key component of the public health response to cholera. Although maintaining cold chain and organizing human resource are the major challenges of vaccine delivery to the community. Here we applied an innovative approach to second dose OCV delivery to minimize financial and logistic burdens. The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility and compliance of second dose self-administration when the second dose was provided in a plastic bag to first dose vaccine recipients as OCV is stable for up to 42 days at ambient temperatures. We aimed to deploy vaccines (N = 112,000) left over from other studies to 56,000 people aged ≥ one year living in Mirpur, Dhaka to see the feasibility of self-administration strategy. During vaccination, the first OCV dose (OCV1) was given from fixed sites and the second dose (OCV2) was provided in a plastic zip-lock bag for the participant to take the vaccine two weeks later at home. Participants were instructed to keep the vaccine away from light and in a dry cool place. Empty vials were collected following the end date of the scheduled second vaccination. Of the targeted population, 41,694 (74%) received the first OCV dose whereas an estimated 38,852 (93% of those receiving the first dose) received the second dose which represents a 7% drop out rate from OCV1 to OCV2. However the average two dose coverage was 69%. A survey of a subsample 2990 (from 8551) randomly selected households revealed that almost all respondents (98.75%) appreciated this new self-administration strategy and considered the strategy to be more practical and convenient than the usual method. This simplified, self-administered delivery strategy provides an ideal alternative for second-dose OCV delivery in hard-to-reach populations and resource-poor settings.


Bangladesh,Oral cholera vaccine,Self-administration,Urban,