Study on Dengvaxia vaccine to continue

KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry will continue its study on the efficacy of Dengvaxia vaccine against dengue before allowing its use by medical practitioners in the country.

Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said three things would be considered before the vaccine could be registered, namely its safety, effectiveness and in terms of cost.

"The vaccine has not been registered yet and it is still being studied. Whether the government will use it or not will depend on its cost-effectiveness," he told reporters after opening the third Asean Dengue Conference here today.

Last February, then Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam said the Dengvaxia was not used in the country because its efficacy against dengue had yet to be verified and expressed the need for a study to be conducted.

The Philippines is among the first countries to use the vaccine, but the republic suspended its use since November last year following the death of 14 students after they were given the Dengvaxia vaccination.

On dengue cases in the country, Dr Lee said it was showing a downward trend, with a total of 32,435 cases reported between January and July this year, from 49,726 cases during the corresponding period last year, or a drop of 17,291 cases (34.8%).

He said the number of fatalities also dropped by 51.8%, from 110 deaths in 2017 to 53 during the same period this year. β€” Bernama