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Dengue fever vaccine tests prove positive

Update: October, 10/2015 - 08:00
A medical worker takes care of a dengue fever patient at the Lien Chieu District Medical Station in the central city of Da Nang. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Van Nhieu

HA NOI (VNS) — Tests on a dengue fever vaccine over the past five years in Viet Nam showed real promise, according to the Preventive Medicine Department.

The tests were part of a project on the effectiveness and safety of the new dengue fever vaccine CYD14.

They were carried out by France's Sanofi Pasteur group in collaboration with the Ho Chi Minh City Pasteur Institute in My Tho and Long Xuyen cities in the Mekong Delta.

Viet Nam is one of five countries in Asia taking part in the third stage of the experimental process. A total of 2,336 children aged from 2 to 14 are involved on a voluntary basis.

The test results showed the effectiveness of vaccine reached 66 per cent for children nine and above. The vaccine reduced 81 per cent of hospitalised cases and 93 per cent of severe cases.

Associate Professor Dr. Phan Trong Lan, head of the HCM City Pasteur Institute, said the vaccine was less effective for children under nine.

It slashed infections by 44 per cent and reduced 56 per cent of hospitalised cases and 67 per cent of severe cases.

Lan said the tests on children aged under nine, however, needed to be watched until the end of the five-year experimental period to have a full assessment and ensure the vaccine was safe and effective.

Reactions after the CYD14 vaccination are equal or lower than that of existing vaccines. No significant incidents were recorded, he added.

The Preventive Medicine Department is taking steps to register the vaccine for children aged nine and above in participant countries, including Viet Nam.

In the past 20 years, there have had 23 studies on dengue fever vaccine in 17 countries, including the United States and Australia.

The number of dengue fever cases in the world doubles every 10 years. Dengue fever has resurfaced in China, Malaysia, Cambodia and India. In Viet Nam, the disease showed a resurgence in 2015. Viet Nam had its worst recorded dengue fever outbreak in 1998.

Medical experts advise people to clean water containers to remove mosquito larvae and prevent the spread of the disease.

Dengue fever cases rise by 30% this year

Viet Nam has had nearly 45,000 cases of dengue fever this year, an increase of more than 30 per cent nationwide compared to the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Health.

A total of 28 people have died, and an average of 2,000 new cases each week have been reported in recent months, according to Tran Dac Phu, head of the ministry's Preventive Medicine Department.

There is no specific medical treatment that can cure dengue fever. Most of the cases have occurred in the southern region.

As of October 1, HCM City had 10,624 dengue cases, the highest number in the country, an increase of 80 per cent compared to the same period last year.

It was followed by Dong Nai Province with nearly 5,300 dengue cases. Binh Duong Province had more than 3,000 dengue cases. Ha Noi has had the highest number of dengue cases in the northern region, with more than 3,000 cases this year, a five-fold increase compared to last year. — VNS

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