First attempt at making an effective vaccine (Dengvaxia) against the dreaded Dengue fever, failed 2 years ago, because of safety concerns. But results are quite encouraging on the second attempt (TAK 003).
The new vaccine, developed by Japanese pharmaceutical firm Takeda, is based on a weakened live virus. It has been tested in more than 20,000 children aged 4 to 16 at 26 different places in Asia and Latin America. Each child received two doses of the vaccine and they have been followed-up for one year.The results are good. Protection against dengue fever and its complication are good. New vaccine also shown to be safe.
Unlike the previous vaccine (Dengvaxia), the new vaccine (TAK 003) appears to work well, both for people who had dengue fever previously, as well as those who never had dengue fever before.
We have to wait for some more time to find out if these protective results are sustained .We also need to ensure that safety is not compromised. A further three years are planned for vigilance and data collection.
As a Paediatric doctor, I cant wait to see the introduction of this new Dengue vaccine (TAK 003). We have seen enough of misery and sufferings that our children had to face.
Prevention is obviously better than cure. Health and Dengue fever are no exceptions !!!