Public Health Ministry to continue using dengue vaccine but with more caution

The Ministry of Public Health will not remove Dengvaxia dengue vaccine from registration, but will adjust some wordings on the drug label and will advise doctors to exercise caution in vaccination.

The above is the conclusion of a meeting of the subcommittee on immunization of the National Vaccines Committee on Thursday (Dec 14) to update information about the use of the dengue vaccine in Thailand after the Department of Health of the Philippines suspended the immunization program and scrapped the use of Dengvaxia anti-dengue vaccine produced by French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur.

Professor Dr Prasert Thongcharoen, a virologist expert, said after the meeting that the vaccine was 65 percent effective in preventing dengue fever, but its application must take into consideration the age and past record of those who are to be inoculated with the vaccine.

He said that those who have not been infected with dengue may suffer severe dengue fever if inoculated with the vaccine, but the dengue vaccine works well with people who used to contracted the disease.

While advocating more caution in the use of the vaccine, Dr Prasert asked the public not be panic with the situation in the Philippines because of the different conditions.

But in Thailand, Dengvaxia anti-dengue vaccine has not been included as basic vaccine that the state is required to provide to the public because there are still some limitations in the prevention of the disease.

Dr Prasert noted that vaccine is just a method to control dengue fever but, more importantly, people must protect themselves from mosquito bites and to help in getting rid of breeding grounds of mosquito larvae.

Thailand, he said, will not remove the anti-dengue vaccine from registration because of its efficacy in the prevention of the disease, but more caution has to be exercised in the use of the vaccine.