New dengue vaccine not effective enough, says minister
The Sanofi vaccine against dengue has showed some promise but it is not good enough, said Environment and Water Resources Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan in Parliament on Monday (Aug 4).
Its effectiveness against the most common types of dengue virus here, type 1 and type 2, is just 50 per cent and 35 per cent respectively.
Dr Balakrishnan, a trained medical doctor, said that it is dangerous to rush into approving the vaccines.
For instance, there is a theoretical risk with an incomplete vaccination. If a person had previously been infected with dengue, and is infected again with another type of dengue, they might have a higher chance of contracting haemorrhagic fever or shock.
"Although the long term solution to dengue is a vaccine, we need to spend more work to get the right vaccine out there and assure ourselves that it is safe before we can issue it."
It is now the peak transmission season for dengue, with more than 12,000 cases since the start of the year.