Dengue vaccine: understand how the Brazilian vaccine tests will be done
In the first half of 2016, tests will begin for the dengue vaccine being developed by the Butantan Institute in São Paulo. The tests will take five years to complete, but Butantan Institute expects that the vaccine will be available to the population by 2017. This is the third stage of testing and will be done in 17,000 volunteers in 13 large cities nationwide : Manaus, Porto Velho, Boa Vista, Aracaju, Recife, Fortaleza, Brasília, Cuiabá, Campo Grande, São Paulo, São José do Rio Preto (SP), Belo Horizonte and Porto Alegre. The criterion is that the vaccine should be tested in places where there is an incidence of all four types of dengue, to verify its efficacy against all types of the disease.
The selection process of volunteers will be judicious: "the researchers will detect a site where you have a higher density of the vector, which is the Aedes aegypit . Then, go find these people, talk to them inside their residences, they will do a battery of exams. , from cardiological check-up to the simple blood test, they will be selected and those who wish to collaborate with the research have to sign a statement of responsibility and then they will be vaccinated, "explained the researcher, Graça Alecrim, superintendent of the Tropical Medicine Foundation Dr. Heitor Vieira Dourado, who is a reference center for research in the area in Manaus.
The study will follow the randomized double blind methodology. "That is, two-thirds of the volunteers will receive the vaccine, while the others will only receive the vehicle without the virus," explained David Uip, Secretary of Health of the State of São Paulo, at a press conference with the governor of São Paulo Geraldo Alckmin and the director of the Butantan Institute Jorge Kalil.
People aged two to 59 years old will be selected, without chronic diseases. Pregnant women will not be able to participate. This is the third stage of vaccine development, which is done with the inactivated dengue virus. The Butantã Institute, in São Paulo, is at the forefront of research. According to Grace Alecrim, the previous steps were satisfactory and, if proven effective in humans, the vaccine will combat the four types of dengue virus. The initial tests have already shown that it has no efficacy against the chikungunya fever virus and the zika virus.
Text by Bianca Paiva, Brazilian Agency correspondent.
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