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Kingdom keeps eye on dengue vaccine

Kingdom keeps eye on dengue vaccine

A Cambodian health official says it’s too early to know when the world’s first dengue vaccine approved for sale may be available in the Kingdom.

Developed by French drug maker Sanofi, Dengvaxia was given the green light by Mexican health authorities on Wednesday.

The approval – based on two large 25-month efficacy trials in Asia and Latin America, which showed the drug protected two-thirds of participants against all four of the virus’s serotypes – paves the way for immunisation programs against the mosquito-born virus, endemic in more than 100 countries.

Significantly, the trials showed Dengvaxia prevented nine of 10 cases of severe dengue and eight out of 10 hospitalisations, according to a statement by the company.

Sanofi plans to lodge applications to approve the drug in 20 countries where the virus is widespread, Olivier Charmeil, head of the company’s vaccines business, told the Wall Street Journal.

Yesterday, manager of the National Dengue Control Program Dr Leang Rithea said no official discussions about introducing the drug had been held by Cambodia’s health authorities. “For Cambodia, no clear decision has been made yet because we need to get high-level political support, not only from the program,” Rithea said.

“Its introduction here would be a big leap, but before we introduce this vaccination into Cambodia, we would need a study, a small pilot to assess its effectiveness, its consequences and feasibility at a larger scale.

“However, the program is very aware that in the next few years, there will be available vaccinations for dengue.”

Cambodia has this year seen dengue cases rocket some 300 per cent, with 11,282 cases between January and September, according to the National Center for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control (CNM).

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