Oral cholera vaccine coverage during an outbreak and humanitarian crisis, Iraq, 2015

During November–December 2015, as part of the 2015 cholera outbreak response in Iraq, the Iraqi Ministry of Health targeted ≈255,000 displaced persons >1 year of age with 2 doses of oral cholera vaccine (OCV). All persons who received vaccines were living in selected refugee camps, internally displaced persons camps, and collective centers. We conducted a multistage cluster survey to obtain OCV coverage estimates in 10 governorates that were targeted during the campaign. In total, 1,226 household and 5,007 individual interviews were conducted. Overall, 2-dose OCV coverage in the targeted camps was 87% (95% CI 85%–89%). Two-dose OCV coverage in the 3 northern governorates (91%; 95% CI 87%–94%) was higher than that in the 7 southern and central governorates (80%; 95% CI 77%–82%). The experience in Iraq demonstrates that OCV campaigns can be successfully implemented as part of a comprehensive response to cholera outbreaks among high-risk populations in conflict settings.

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