Channel NewsAsia

Dengue vaccine may be introduced next year

The world's first vaccine for dengue will likely be introduced next year, and Singapore may be among the first few countries to use it. It is believed this new vaccine can help reduce the rate of dengue infections by half.

SINGAPORE: The world's first vaccine for dengue will likely be introduced next year, and Singapore may be among the first few countries to use it.

It is believed this new vaccine can help reduce the rate of dengue infections by half.

Researchers in Singapore participated in the second phase of the clinical testing of the vaccine six years ago.

The "live vaccine" is now in its final stage of testing.

It works by stimulating the body to fight against the dengue virus.

The vaccine was tested in areas of high dengue risk such as Indonesia, Thailand and Latin America, and used on a wide age range -- from two to 45 years old.

The vaccine requires three injections in a person's lifetime, taken six months apart.

But further tests are needed to determine if the jab is suitable for all ages.

The new vaccine can fight against the four serotypes of dengue virus and has an efficacy rate of 56 per cent.

While the dengue virus mostly affects adults in Singapore, scientists are also trying to reduce the infection in children.

Annelis Wilder-Smith, professor of infectious diseases at Nanyang Technological University’s Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, said: "We are also working on a novel community strategy to reduce dengue in school-age children. We are currently doing a large-scale trial in Thailand."

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