Sabin Vaccine Institute To Partner with Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) on Critical Cholera Vaccine Research

A young child is vaccinated against cholera in Haiti
© PAHO-WHO A young child is vaccinated against cholera in Haiti.

The Sabin Vaccine Institute announced a new research project with the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) to optimize the use of the oral cholera vaccine. The research aims to inform vaccination strategies that could be beneficial in tackling the global resurgence in cholera as well as acute vaccine shortages.

The World Health Organization (WHO) currently recommends two doses of oral cholera vaccine two weeks apart. However, the logistical impact of this recommendation and the potential to improve immune response suggests that extending the time between doses may be a viable option. This is what the new study will investigate and it will provide evidence for optimized oral cholera vaccine dosing as well as examine effective intervals between doses.

Dr. Denise Garrett, vice president of applied epidemiology at Sabin, says the research could eventually influence vaccine policy. “What excites us most about this study is its potential to increase our understanding of the oral cholera vaccine and its deployment strategies. By examining different dosing intervals, we aim to unlock new insights that could significantly improve vaccine impact, ultimately saving lives.”

The project includes a randomized control trial, which will take place in Nairobi, evaluating immune response to various timing intervals between the first and second doses of the oral cholera vaccine. Additionally, the trial will provide valuable insights into the newest oral cholera vaccine, Euvichol-S.

“We are delighted to partner with Kenya and KEMRI on this crucial endeavor,” adds Dr. Garrett. “The expertise of our in-country collaborators is invaluable , and we are excited to be working closely with them.”

Sabin’s Applied Epidemiology team is known for its comprehensive approach to addressing key questions on vaccines and infectious diseases. From conducting clinical trials to advocating for policy change and overseeing vaccine implementation and evaluation, the team plays a pivotal role in advancing global immunization efforts.

Global supplies of the cholera vaccines have lagged behind demand in recent years, leaving many populations without adequate vaccine access. In October 2022, the acute cholera vaccine shortage led the World Health Organization to temporarily modify  the two-dose regimen and recommend a single dose during outbreaks, underscoring the urgent need for research to optimize vaccine utilization.

Cholera, a bacterial disease transmitted through contaminated water and food, can cause severe diarrhea and dehydration. The World Health Organization estimates that  there are as many as 4 million cases and 143,000 deaths globally each year.

The study’s additional partners include the Kenya Ministry of Health, Massachusetts General Hospital, Nairobi Metropolitan Services Health Department, Stanford University, EuBiologics and Washington State University–Global Health Kenya. Funding for the study is provided by The Wellcome Trust.

About the Sabin Vaccine Institute

The Sabin Vaccine Institute is a leading advocate for expanding vaccine access and uptake globally, advancing vaccine research and development, and amplifying vaccine knowledge and innovation. Unlocking the potential of vaccines through partnership, Sabin has built a robust ecosystem of funders, innovators, implementers, practitioners, policy makers and public stakeholders to advance its vision of a future free from preventable diseases. As a non-profit with three decades of experience, Sabin is committed to finding solutions that last and extending the full benefits of vaccines to all people, regardless of who they are or where they live. At Sabin, we believe in the power of vaccines to change the world. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter, @SabinVaccine.