Vietnam to join Japanese dengue vaccine trials

By VNA   October 12, 2023 | 08:19 pm PT
Vietnam to join Japanese dengue vaccine trials
A nurse takes care of a dengue fever patient in HCMC in 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Le Phuong
Vietnam will be one of the countries joining in the trial injection of a dengue fever vaccine of Japan, Prof. Dr Nguyen Van Kinh, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Medical Association, said Thursday.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), dengue fever is among the top 10 threats to global health as 40% of the world's population reside in the areas at risk of dengue infection.

It is one of the fastest spreading mosquito-borne diseases and popular in tropical regions. The disease leads to about 20,000 deaths worldwide each year.

Dengue fever is caused by four dengue virus types, namely DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4, of which DEN-1 and DEN-2 account for 90% of cases.

A person infected with a virus type can gain lifelong immunity to that type, but is still at risk of contracting others. Particularly, repeat infections are highly dangerous since the disease situation is often more severe from the first.

Since the start of 2023, Vietnam has recorded more than 90,000 dengue fever cases, including 26 deaths, said the Ministry of Health.

Some countries used to test and license some dengue vaccines, but the vaccines' efficacy has yet to meet expectations, especially when it comes to DEN-2, Kinh said.

Recently, Japan has developed a new vaccine which initially showed efficacy for all the four virus types. The single-dose vaccine can be used for both adults and children.

However, he noted, trials are necessary to have thorough assessment of the vaccine before it is used on a large scale.

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