Since May, the Coalition against Typhoid (CaT) has featured monthly articles in the WHO’s Global Immunization Newsletters (GIN). The articles, written by CaT members from around the world, highlight important work being done to accelerate adoption of typhoid vaccines.

The first article in the series was coauthored by Chris Nelson and Ciro de Quadros and appeared in the May, 2011, GIN.

Since the original publication announcing the establishment of CaT, seven new institutions have joined: UNICEF, Wellcome Trust, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (WTSI), the University of Oxford Vaccine Group, the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Vietnam, the Finlay Institute, and Shantha Biotech.

Coalition against Typhoid to support the implementation of typhoid vaccinesBy Chris Nelson and Ciro de Quadros

The Coalition against Typhoid held its first Strategic Work Plan Meeting on 9-10 May 2011 in Washington DC. The lack of a global work plan on typhoid has limited the implementation of available vaccines. The goal of the Coalition is to define the barriers for adoption of typhoid vaccine and the key activities needed for these barriers to be overcome.

Coalition goals include raising visibility of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendations in support of typhoid vaccination programmes; increasing awareness of the experience to date in using typhoid vaccines to successfully control disease in Asia; assisting interested countries with the implementation of typhoid vaccination programmes; and supporting surveillance and increasing disease burden awareness in Africa.

Despite the availability of low cost vaccines against typhoid and WHO support for their use, vaccination programmes have not been widely adopted for the high burden and high risk populations most affected by disease. According to WHO, typhoid fever impacts the lives of an estimated 21 million people a year and accounts for at least 200,000 deaths with 90% of these occurring in South and South East Asia. The highest burden is predominantly among school-age and preschool-age children.

One typhoid vaccine achieved WHO prequalification in June, 2011, and other typhoid vaccines are under review. GAVI has prioritized typhoid vaccines for introduction and is currently considering support.

Coalition Against Typhoid members include the Aga Khan University, Bharat Biotech, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Center for Vaccine Development, Crucell, GAVI Alliance, International Vaccine Institute, National Institutes of Health, Novartis Vaccines Institute for Global Health, PATH, Sabin Vaccine Institute, sanofi -pasteur, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization.