Hospital kicks off dengue jab

Hospital kicks off dengue jab

Samitivej Hospital has introduced a vaccine against four strains of dengue virus, making it the first facility in Thailand to offer immunisation against the mosquito-borne disease.

On-umar Banpamai, an infectious diseases specialist at Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital, said at a briefing that the vaccine against dengue had been studied and developed for decades. It has also been tested in 10 countries around the world, including Thailand.

Over the past five years, the vaccine, with the trademark name Dengvaxia, was tested on over 30,000 people. When compared to the group receiving placebos, the vaccine was proven to be able to prevent the infection in 60% to 65% of the cases.

The vaccine showed around 93% efficacy in reducing the severity of the disease and over 80% effectiveness in lessening the need for hospitalisation, she said.

Dengue haemorrhagic fever has been wreaking havoc in tropical countries including Thailand. According to figures from the Bureau of Vector-Borne Disease under the Ministry of Public Health's Department of Disease Control, as of last week there were 60,115 reported cases this year, with 58 deaths. Last year, Thailand saw 142,925 reported cases, with 141 fatalities.

Dr On-umar added that the vaccine was administered as a three-dose series at six-month intervals. According to related studies, a series is effective for five to six years and work best for those aged 9-45.

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