BACKGROUND: In April 2016, an emergency vaccination campaign using one dose of Oral Cholera Vaccine (OCV) was organized in response to a cholera outbreak that started in Lusaka in February 2016. In December 2016, a second round of vaccination was conducted, with the objective of increasing the duration of protection, before the high-risk period for cholera transmission. We assessed vaccination coverage for the first and second rounds of the OCV campaign.
METHODS: Vaccination coverage was estimated after each round from a sample selected from targeted-areas for vaccination using a cross-sectional survey in to establish the vaccination status of the individuals recruited. The study population included all individuals older than 12 months residing in the areas targeted for vaccination. We interviewed 505 randomly selected individuals after the first round and 442 after the second round. Vaccination status was ascertained either by vaccination card or verbal reporting. Households were selected using spatial random sampling.
RESULTS: The vaccination coverage with two doses was 58.1% (25/43; 95%CI: 42.1-72.9) in children 1-5 years old, 59.5% (69/116; 95%CI: 49.9-68.5) in children 5-15 years old and 19.9% (56/281; 95%CI: 15.4-25.1) in adults above 15 years old. The overall dropout rate was 10.9% (95%CI: 8.1-14.1). Overall, 69.9% (n = 309/442; 95%CI: 65.4-74.1) reported to have received at least one OCV dose.
CONCLUSIONS: The areas at highest risk of suffering cholera outbreaks were targeted for vaccination obtaining relatively high vaccine coverage after each round. However, the long delay between doses in areas subject to considerable population movement resulted in many individuals receiving only one OCV dose. Additional vaccination campaigns may be required to sustain protection over time in case of persistence of risk. Further evidence is needed to establish a maximum optimal interval time of a delayed second dose and variations in different settings.