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Oral Cholera Vaccine No Longer Available In NZ

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ORAL CHOLERA VACCINE NO LONGER AVAILABLE IN NEW ZEALAND

In March 2000 the Ministry of Health approved the registration and sale of the worlds first Oral cholera vaccine, in New Zealand.

A large number of clinical studies proved that a single dose of the oral vaccine, Orochol Berna, not only provided highly effective protection against the potentially fatal cholera disease, but that it was virtually free from unwanted side effects.

Orochol Berna has been available to New Zealanders travelling to cholera endemic countries, under legal exemption, since June 1998, from dedicated Travel Medicine Clinics and General Practitioners throughout New Zealand.

It is now apparent that this effective cholera vaccine, which has the approval of Health bodies in many countries of the world, including Australia and Canada is now in breach of new government legislation entitled, "Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act".

The genetic modification of the wild cholera bacteria is a necessary process for the production of the Orochol Berna vaccine. Under this new legislation however, this means the vaccine is classified as a "new organism" and as such will now require a further costly, approval process, to ensure future availability in this country. Orochol Berna is considered environmentally safe by experts such as the European Medicine Evaluation Agency (EMEA)

The decision by the Environmental Risk Management Authority to discontinue the availability of Orochol Berna under the new Act, means New Zealanders travelling to Asia, South America, Central Africa and other endemic regions, no longer have available to them the worlds most effective protection against cholera.

ENDS

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