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‘Promising’ results of anti-dengue vaccine tests noted in PHL

June 16, 2014 3:19pm

Tests conducted on Filipino children involving possibly the first vaccine against dengue fever yielded "promising" results, the head of a local group conducting research on the mosquito-borne disease said Monday.

In a phone interview, Dr. Rosario Capeding, head of the dengue study group of the Department of Health's Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, said the potential anti-dengue vaccine being developed by French firm Sanofi Pasteur seemed to be "safe."

"So far, the results are promising... Sa ating participants, walang may serious manifestation or adverse reaction sa vaccine," Capeding said.

The Philippines was among the five countries in Southeast Asia which took part in the final phase of efficacy studies on the possible anti-dengue vaccine.

A total of 3,500 children from San Pablo City in Laguna and Cebu City participated in the clinical study on the potential anti-dengue vaccine.

The World Health Organization describes dengue as a "mosquito-borne viral infection causing a severe flu-like illness and, sometimes causing a potentially lethal complication."

The Philippines has the highest number of dengue cases among countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). A total of 13,188 dengue cases were recorded during the first three months of 2014.

Available by 2016

A separate report aired on GMA News TV's "News To Go" said the anti-dengue vaccine may be available in the market by 2016.

The full efficacy report, or the complete assessment on whether or not the vaccine will produce its intended results, will be available by the end of this year, the report added.

Last April 28, Sanofi Pasteur announced that it had already concluded the first part of the last phase of efficacy studies on its possible anti-dengue vaccine.

The French firm said its vaccine yielded a "good safety profile" and caused "a significant reduction of 56 percent of dengue disease cases."

Results of the clinical studies on the vaccine are being reviewed by external experts and will be published in a peer-reviewed journal later this year, the firm added.

Capeding, for her part, said she hopes a safe and effective anti-dengue vaccine will be available to the public soon.

"Alam naman natin itong dengue is a public health problem not just in the Philippines, but in other countries. We are really in need of a anti-dengue vaccine," she said. — BM, GMA News
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