WHO recently announced that it has prequalified the first typhoid conjugate vaccine, making it accessible to global health agencies for areas where it is most needed.
The typhoid conjugate vaccine (TCV), Typbar-TCV (Bharat Biotech), was prequalified at the end of December, according to a WHO news release.
Typbar offers longer lasting immunity than older vaccines, with fewer doses, and can be administered with routine childhood vaccination, according to WHO.
In October 2017, the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on immunization, a group that advises WHO, recommended routine TCV immunization in children aged older than 6 months who live in typhoid-endemic countries.
SAGE also recommended making TCV a priority for countries with the highest typhoid disease burden or highest burden of antibiotic resistance in Salmonella Typhi. WHO noted that vaccination with TCV can help alleviate increases in S. Typhi antibiotic resistance by avoiding the overuse of antibiotics when typhoid fever is presumed.
Following the SAGE recommendations, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, approved $85 million for TCV beginning in 2019. December’s prequalification can provide access to Typbar for other agencies, including UNICEF.
Worldwide, there are an estimated 11 million to 20 million typhoid cases and 128,000 to 161,000 deaths from the illness each year. Increased urbanization and climate change threaten to worsen the disease’s prevalence, WHO said, and antibiotic resistance increases typhoid’s spread in densely populated areas, as well as through compromised sanitation systems.
Neither WHO nor Gavi immediately responded to requests for comment. – by Joe Green
WHO. WHO prequalifies breakthrough vaccine for typhoid. www.who.int/medicines/news/2017/WHOprequalifies-breakthrough-typhoid-vaccine/en/. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018.