MANILA – The world’s first anti-dengue vaccine will be released July next year, Health Secretary Enrique Ona told reporters yesterday.
The secretary also added that though the coverage will initially be limited in terms of the number of persons who can avail once the vaccine is out, they will still be including it in the Department of Health (DOH)’s Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI).
“We will be targeting particular areas and age groups – the most affected ones – to be covered by this initially,” he said.
Ona also said that Sanofi Pasteur, a France-based pharmaceutical company which will be releasing the vaccine, has not yet mentioned the vaccine’s cost.
“The company had already made an announcement that the vaccine will be available but it did not give any estimate about the costing.”
Several clinical trials to test the vaccine was earlier conducted by the said the company on some countries including the Philippines, and Latin America.
The trials showed a “promising overall efficacy of 56.6 percent,” indicating that “more than half of the subjects did not get dengue compared to the group that did not receive the vaccine in a study.”
In the Philippines alone, the study done by the DOH-run Research Institute for Tropical Medicine led by principal investigator Rosario Capeding, head of RITM’s Department of Microbiology, included 3,500 children in Cebu and San Pablo, Laguna.