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Typhoid has been virtually eliminated in industrialised nations, but the disease still kills more than 140,000 people annually in developing countries. With the alarming spread of drug-resistant typhoid across Africa and Asia, this number could continue to rise.

Photo: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/Sam Reinders

The Typhoid Vaccine Acceleration Consortium (TyVAC), which is a partnership between University of Maryland School of Medicine, University of Oxford and PATH, is currently conducting clinical trials of the new typhoid conjugate vaccine (TCV) in Malawi, Nepal, and Bangladesh with a focus to further evaluate vaccine efficacy and impact of TCV in reducing typhoid burden in endemic countries.

The WHO released on the 30th of March a revised typhoid position paper to include the new conjugate vaccine. The paper advises that the new vaccine can be administered to children as young as six months old and provides longer-lasting immunity than previously available vaccines. With approximately 30% of the typhoid burden occurring in children under five years of age, this vaccine could greatly impact disease burden. The fact that it is suitable for young children also means it can be easily incorporated into routine vaccination schedules.

The WHO announced the prequalification of the first typhoid conjugate vaccine, Typbar-TCV, in December 2017. Earlier that month the board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, approved US$ 85 million for 2019-2020 to support its introduction in developing countries. Governments across Africa and Asia can apply for funding to protect children against typhoid fever. The first introductions are expected to take place in 2019.

Find out more in the video below.