What is International Coordinating Group?

Amid shortages in cholera vaccine supply, the International Coordinating Group (ICG) temporarily suspended the standard two-dose vaccine regime and initiated the single-dose approach.

Key facts

  • The new single-dose approach was initiated to address the surge in cholera cases.
  • Since the beginning of 2022, 29 countries have reported cholera cases, with Haiti, Malawi, and Syria witnessing large-scale outbreaks.
  • 13 of these countries did not report an outbreak in 2021.
  • Five years ago, less than 20 countries on average reported cholera outbreaks.
  • The increase in the number of cholera cases worldwide is attributed to floods, droughts, conflict, and population movement, which are limiting access to clean water and creating other risk factors.
  • The one-dose approach has been an effective response against large-scale outbreaks, though the evidence of the exact duration of protection is limited and it is found to be less effective in children.
  • The two-dose approach, with the second dose being administered within 6 months after the first, provides immunity for 3 years.
  • However, the benefit of one dose outweighs no doses at all since it expands vaccine coverage and provides protection for the short term.

About ICG

The International Coordinating Group (ICG) is responsible for the management and coordination of emergency vaccine supplies and antibodies to countries during major disease outbreaks. It is responsible for the management of the global stockpile of oral cholera vaccines. It has members from WHO, Doctors Without Borders, UNICEF, and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. It was set up in 1997 following the major outbreak of meningitis in Africa.

About Cholera

Cholera is a bacterial infection that transmits mainly from food or water contaminated with vibrio cholerae. It is an acute diarrhoeal infection in the small intestine that causes severe diarrhea and dehydration. It is fatal if the immediate medical intervention fails to take place. It takes over 12 hours to 5 days for the symptoms to show after ingestion of contaminated food or water.

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