4 Effectiveness and Conditions for Giving Dengue Fever Vaccine
Dengue fever often hits tropical climates, such as Indonesia. The high number of dengue cases makes many researchers try to develop the most effective vaccine to prevent this disease. However, the dengue vaccine still has some shortcomings.
Dengue fever (DHF) is a disease caused by dengue virus infection, this disease is transmitted through mosquito bites. Usually, dengue fever occurs during the rainy season. This is because high rainfall allows mosquitoes to breed well.
DHF has several symptoms, such as high fever, skin rashes, bone or muscle pain, and headaches in the back of the eye. In severe cases, bleeding can also occur that can be life threatening. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that around 20,000 people die each year from dengue fever.
Get to know the Dengue Fever Vaccine
The available dengue vaccine is the CYD-TDV (Dengvaxia) vaccine. This vaccine contains a weakened tetravalent dengue virus. Tetravalent here means that the vaccine can form immunity against four types of circulating dengue viruses, namely dengue virus serotype 1 – 4. This vaccine has obtained marketing authorization in several dengue endemic countries, and is usually given three times with the interval between injections is four to six months.
Effectiveness and Conditions for Giving Dengue Fever Vaccine
Before deciding to give the dengue vaccine to prevent dengue fever, there are a few things related to the dengue vaccine you need to know:
1. Safer for children over the age of 9 years and adults
Data from several clinical studies show a reduced risk of severe dengue fever (to require hospitalization) in children over nine years who are given the vaccine. However, if the dengue vaccine is given to children under the age of nine years, it can increase the risk of developing severe dengue fever.
Therefore, this dengue vaccine is only recommended for people aged between 9 – 45 years.
2. Only effective in certain groups
Dengue fever vaccine is proven to be safe and effective enough for people who have experienced dengue virus infection before. But, it increases the risk of dengue fever in people who have never been infected with dengue virus.
Therefore, WHO recommends that countries wishing to use this vaccine must have an accurate screening system or early detection of dengue infection. This is to prevent people who have never been infected with the dengue virus from being vaccinated.
But in reality, it is not easy to ascertain whether a person has previously had dengue fever or not. This is because dengue fever sometimes does not show symptoms that are typical, or even asymptomatic, so a person may not know whether he has been infected with the dengue virus or not.
3. Does not provide full prevention
Dengue fever vaccine does provide adequate protection for those who have had dengue before. However, this protection is not total. In some cases, people who have had dengue fever can still experience it again, even though they already have the vaccine.
4. The price is expensive
In Indonesia, dengue vaccines include vaccines that are still new. The price range of this vaccine is quite expensive, which is about 1 million for each dose of injection (the recommended dose of dengue vaccine is three times the injection).
Therefore, you need to prepare a high enough cost to get this vaccine. Moreover, the availability of dengue vaccine is still limited, and can only be obtained at the hospital or private pediatrician practice.
The current dengue vaccine can indeed reduce the risk of dengue virus infection in countries with high dengue fever cases. But, this can only be achieved if the vaccine is used correctly.
The dengue vaccine is only recommended when the benefits are believed to be greater than the risk. Therefore, you need to consult a doctor first if you want to get dengue vaccination, to ensure that you are suitable to receive the vaccine.
Another thing you need to remember is that efforts to eradicate mosquito nests and prevent mosquito bites remain the main steps to prevent dengue fever. Vaccination alone without these efforts will not be effective in preventing dengue fever.
Use closed clothing if you are in an area with a lot of mosquitoes, or use mosquito repellent lotion. Also make sure to regularly drain containers filled with water and dry the puddles in the environment