Does Dengue Vaccine offer 100% Protection?

Does Dengue Vaccine offer 100% Protection?

by: Arlene Gentallan

What is Dengvaxia?

        Dengvaxia, after 20 years of being developed by french pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur, created a milestone by becoming the first dengue vaccine in the world to be licensed last December 9, 2015 by Mexico as the pioneer country. It is a live attenuated chimeric tetravalent vaccine, which means that it's a live weakenedd form of dengue virus effective against the four dengue strains. It provides protection against dengue by stimulating the body's immune system to produce antibodies against it.

The Truth: You are not 100% Protected

        Dengvaxia dengue vaccine does not guarantee 100% protection against dengue virus. Even if you've already taken 3 shots at 6 months interval, this will not guarantee that you will not contract dengue.

        In clinical trials, Dengvaxia's efficacy is not the same for all dengue serotypes. It has highest efficacy against serotypes 4 (76.9% efficacy) and 3 (71.6% efficacy), moderate for serotypes 1 (54.7% efficacy), and lowest for serotype 2 (43.0% efficacy.)

        Among the 4 types of dengue virus, serotype 2 dengue virus is known to cause the severe form of dengue called dengue hemorrhagic fever.

Why should I get a dengue vaccine shot if I'm not fully protected?

        Although there is no such thing as 100% protection, when you do contract dengue, it's manifestation will be less severe. Furthermore, Dengvaxia vaccination reduces development of dengue hemorrhagic fever, hospitalization, and death. The WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) recommended vaccination in geographic areas where dengue is endemic.

        It's alarming that cases of dengue has increased over the past few years. According to Word Health Organization(WHO), "dengue is a leading cause of serious illness and death among children" in some counties, but it has "no specific treatment." Getting a dengue vaccine shot is one step you can take to protect yourself and your family.