Singapore has geared up to fight the menace of dengue in the island nation. Dengvaxia, world’s first dengue vaccine will be available starting this week.
More than 13,000 people were infected with dengue last year. Nine died and more than 2000 were admitted to hospital. However, dengue rates are currently lower in Singapore as about 600 people have been infected since the start of the year.
Heath Sciences Authority (HAS) of Singapore carried an extensive review of the potential benefits and risks about the new drug dengvaxia for about seven months. After that, it gave approval for its usage for the patients aged between 12 to 45 years.
The vaccine has been effective in reducing dengue by 60 per cent and reducing severe dengue by about 84 per cent.
Those desirous to get the vaccine need to get three doses, six months apart. It is not known definitively how long the vaccine will be effective. However, current data shows that it should be effective for four years.
Though the vaccine is effective against all four dengue strains but it is not very effective in fighting the Den 1 and 2 strains which are quite common in Singapore. It is effective in fighting against Den 3 and Den 4 strains.
Even World Health Organisation (WHO) corroborates this fact as dengvaxia provides 72 to 77 per cent protection against Den 3 and Den 4 but only 43 to 55 per cent against Den 1 and Den 2.