12 Information that everyone needs to know about dengue vaccine
Dengue is a viral disease transmitted by the mosquito Aedes aegypti , which spreads rapidly in the world. According to the Ministry of Health, in the last 50 years, the incidence of the disease has increased 30 times: it is estimated that 50 million dengue infections occur every year.
One of the most critical times of infection is summer and control of the disease. vector is essential. The problem is that the war against the mosquito is encountering obstacles.
"Measures to control the mosquito vector of dengue fever are not as effective and, as a result, we see an increase in cases," says pediatrician Renato Kfouri, president of the Brazilian Society of Immunizations (SBIm). According to the Ministry of Health, more than 1.6 million probable cases of dengue have been recorded in the country in 2015 - the number is the highest recorded in the historical series, begun in 1990.
The classical form of the disease can be confused with the flu. The symptoms are high fever, headaches, tiredness, muscle and joint pain, nausea, indisposition, vomiting, among others. Dengue can progress to a more severe form, called dengue hemorrhagic fever. It happens when the infected person undergoes changes in blood clotting. If left untreated, it can lead to death.
In addition to the damage to the health of each individual, the costs generated by dengue are high. A study carried out in 2015, conducted in six Brazilian capitals (Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, Goiânia, Recife, Teresina and Belém), showed that the disease could cost up to US $ 1.2 billion per year to the country. at the Aggeu Magalhães-Fiocruz Pernambuco Research Center and the University of Pernambuco.
In this worrying scenario, news that promises to contribute to disease control was announced last year: the first dengue vaccine began "This is the first licensed vaccine against dengue in the world. We now have a vaccine for the prevention of a disease with a major public health impact. the number of cases of the disease increases every year and we do not have a treatment to kill the virus. What exists is a treatment for the patient to survive the disease cycle, "explains infectious disease specialist Rosana Ric htmann, Hospital Emílio Ribas, São Paulo.
How many doses?
The dengue vaccine is administered in three doses. The interval between each of them is six months. Therefore, the cycle is completed after one year the person has taken the first dose.
Who can take?
The age range for immunization is nine to 45 years. "Studies of the dengue vaccine have been focused on these age groups. It has not been studied outside this age range, therefore, it can not be administered," explains the infectologist Marco Aurélio Sáfadi, director of the Study and Publication Center of the Brazilian Society of Dengue and Arboviruses (SBD-A) and a professor at Santa Casa de São Paulo.
Who can not take?
Because it is a live attenuated vaccine, people with immunity problems can not take the vaccine . In addition, patients receiving immunosuppressive, pregnant and lactating medications also have contraindications.
What is the efficacy?
The overall efficacy of the vaccine in preventing dengue is 66%. This means that immunization could prevent two out of three cases of the disease. In severe cases of dengue, which can lead to hospitalizations and even deaths, the performance of the vaccine is significantly better: from 80% (admissions) to 93% (severe dengue) prevention.
"This number should be looked at taking into account the size of the problem: we have thousands of cases a year and reducing them by two thirds is very significant.Another example is the influenza vaccine," says Renato Kfouri, Vice President of SBI.
How long after the vaccine is taken is the person immunized?
"It is still not possible to have a correct answer to this question.
Protects against the four types of dengue?
Yes, the vaccine protects against the four serotypes of the disease: DEN-1, DEN-1, 2, DEN-3 and DEN-4. It is important to remember that when a person has a type of dengue, he or she becomes immune and will not be affected by this virus, but may develop the disease again as there are three other types.
Does it have side effects? experts, the side effects observed so far are the most common in immunization cases: local pain, fever and redness. "Because it is a new vaccine, we have data from the studies that led to the licensing of the vaccine. Of course, many of the events that immunization can cause are only known when it is used on a large scale. However, to date, side effects have been mild and a small percentage of people have been vaccinated. favorable, "explains Rosana.
Who has ever had dengue also should take the vaccine?
Yes, those who have had dengue should take the vaccine. It is important, according to experts, to understand that the vaccine is even more indicated in these cases. This is because, usually, the most severe form of the disease occurs the second time the person is infected. And given that the effectiveness of the vaccine is better in more severe cases, the indication is clear.
"This framework further reinforces the vaccine's need for prevention in endemic areas, ie where disease activity already exists
Protects against Zika Virus and Chikungunya?
The vaccine does not protect against Zika Virus, Chikungunya or any other disease transmitted by the mosquito
. "The vaccine is not against the mosquito, it is against dengue specifically," emphasizes Renato.
Need to continue with other forms of prevention? "Make it very clear: the vaccinated person is not free of dengue. "In addition to combating the mosquito, the use of repellent continues to be an important method of preventing the spread of mosquitoes. Dengue vaccine can be found in private hospitals and clinics. There is still no provision for distribution in the public network. Some cities may choose to give the vaccine at no cost to the population, but they are local government initiatives.
Is the vaccine cost?
Yes, the vaccine is paid for. The price may vary according to the chosen establishment. In addition, it should be remembered that the unit cost should be multiplied by three, since the vaccine cycle is composed of a triple dose.
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