Vietnam to test dengue fever vaccine on children

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The Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City is going to test dengue fever vaccines at two Mekong Delta's towns in September, following safe experiments on humans worldwide, the institute chief has said.


Doctor Tran Ngoc Huu, head of the institute and chairman of the research project, told the Tuoi Tre recently that dengue fever has been causing the most deaths and the third highest number of infections among 28 popular infectious diseases in Vietnam.


Figures from the Ministry of Health showed that Vietnam has reported around 30,000 dengue fever infections in Vietnam during the first eight months this year, mostly in the central and southern regions.


Experiment for the vaccine will be done on 1,402 children in Long Xuyen of An Giang Province and 934 in My Tho of Tien Giang Province.


Huu said the participants range in age between two to 14 years old, are healthy and join in the research voluntarily with their parents' agreement.


After the experiment, which is the last stage of the project, the vaccine will be assessed for its effectiveness and the research will be presented to authorities before wide use of the vaccine, he said.


Huu said that the vaccine, currently named as Dengue-CYD, was produced and has been studied for around 20 years by France-based Sanofi Pasteur, which has provided several vaccines being used in Vietnam.


The vaccine has been studied in 13 countries including the US and Australia, and in both infected and uninfected countries, he said.


After trials on animals, experiments on more than 6,200 people between one and 45 years of age have shown that the vaccine is safe and caused similar side effects like other vaccines in use such as swelling, redness and pain at the injection spot, fever and headache, the doctor said.


He also confirmed that the experiment result from each country is only announced after the result has been looked over by the National Council of Ethics on Human Research.


However, Huu said that the vaccine is not used widely in any country yet.


The doctor said Sanofi Pasteur has promised to sell the vaccine to Vietnam's Ministry of Health at good price.


He said the vaccine will be widely used no sooner than 2014.


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