A recent study published has confirmed that Dengvaxia increases the risk of dengue for those who haven’t been infected before. This coincides with the previous recommendation from the WHO that the vaccine should not be used without testing for any previous dengue exposure.
Confirmed: Dengvaxia increases the risk of dengue in children
In November of last year, Sanofi had issued a warning that the vaccine could increase the risk of severe dengue. As a result, the WHO recommended that prior testing for Dengvaxia exposure is necessary before giving patients the vaccine.
The new study supports the WHO’s recommendation, confirming that Dengvaxia increases the risk of dengue in children. Particularly those who haven’t been previously infected with the virus.
“Our findings support the hypothesis that in the absence of previous dengue exposure, the (Sanofi) vaccine partially mimics primary infection and increases the risk of severe dengue,”
The researchers added that among uninfected children who received the vaccine, the rate of hospitalization increased in ages 9-16.
In the Philippines, the government has vaccinated over 800,000 schoolchildren during a vaccination campaign. The Philippine government did not do any prior testing before giving the vaccine, so the lives of these 800,000 schoolchildren might be at risk as a result.
Protect your children from dengue
The most important step that parents can do to protect their children from dengue is to prevent mosquito bites. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Here are some things that you can do at home:
- Make sure that your surroundings are clean, and there are no containers with standing water. Mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water, so make sure to throw out any standing water.
- Spray insecticide around your house. Fumigation can help kill any mosquitoes that can potentially spread dengue.
- Screens on windows and doors are very important. Screens help prevent mosquitoes from getting inside your home.
- Use insect repellent sprays or lotions. This is especially important for kids who go to school, since it helps protect them anywhere they go.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants. Covering up your skin can help prevent mosquitoes from biting.
- If you have a baby at home, keep their crib or stroller covered.
- Utilize natural methods of controlling mosquitoes. There are plants that mosquitoes naturally avoid, such as lavender, marigold, and rosemary.
Source: Straits Times