Health Ministry to study use of vaccine to fight dengue

The Malaysian Health Ministry will carry out an in-depth research on dengue vaccine with companies producing the drug before it is distributed in Malaysia.
Its Minister, Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam, said the research was needed to ensure the four dengue serotypes could be effectively treated by the vaccine.

He said research had shown that the vaccine did not have the same effect on the four dengue serotypes. “The effects of the vaccine on serotype DEN 2 were below satisfactory, compared with the other serotypes.”

However, he said, the vaccine was effective in reducing the number of patients who were hospitalised and lowering the severity of the disease.

“In Thailand, tests were conducted on those aged 18 and below. But we must understand that in Malaysia, most dengue deaths occured among those aged between 25 and 30.

“This is why we need to conduct a wider research before deciding to use vaccination as a method to fight dengue.”

He said there were 21,900 dengue cases in 2012 with 35 deaths; 43,340 cases last year with 92 deaths; and 74,335 cases as of September 20, 2014 with 143 deaths.
/NewStraitsTimes 27-11-2014

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