Health specialists announced good news for the next year: the first dengue vaccine should be ready for use. Before this, trials have proved it to be effective in 56% of the cases, which is a huge asset, considering is first vaccine ever available. At the same time its effectiveness shows there is room for improvement. Hopes for vaccine creation and improvement are common news in health science, but especially in dengue fever’s case, since it recently increased its spread.
The clinical trial was conducted on more than 10,000 children in Southeast Asia and it reduces the risk of infection by 56% and the risk of developing severe complications by 88%.
Dengue fever is a disease transmitted by dengue virus (with its four versions) through bites of tropical mosquitoes. It is a treatable disease, in mild cases you can only use rehydration, but in more severe cases you need to secure intravenous fluids and blood transfusion. Symptoms and further developments may include bleeding gums, vomiting, breathing difficulties or abdominal pain.
First dengue vaccine is to come next year, but effectiveness is limited
The news are very promising, considering that dengue fever are on the rise over the last years and there are not so many treatments available. The first dengue vaccine is produced by the pharmaceutical Paris-based company Sanofi and it comes in different versions, for each type of infection and with varying degree of effectiveness: for Dengue-3 and Dengue-4, there is a version offering 75% protection, for Dengue-1 it is 50 % protection and for Dengue-2 version of the virus, only 35% protection. As you can see, there is only partial protection available and, considering some countries only benefit from versions with little protection for Dengue-2 and Dengue-1 viruses, there are some limitations not only in terms of access to medication, but also in how effective these vaccines are. As the trials also tested, little children who had already contracted the disease have been proved to be resistant to treatment through vaccination. According to Columbus CEO, Sanofi stated they are going to test further some improved formula in Latin America and use the results by the end of the year.
Not only this would be the first dengue vaccine available to be used in regions most affected by the disease, but it will also be a highly profitable business, sales are expected to hit around 950 millions euros by 2018, according to Deutsch Bank analyst, Mark Clark. The vaccine is useful not only for regions with frequent cases of dengue diseas, like Latin America or SouthEast Asia, but also for some other regions it spread recently, like Texand and Florida, Madeira Portuguese island and also some parts in France.