GEORGETOWN – The Health Ministry is not ready to provide dengue vaccine on a large scale to the people as it still needs to undergo several stages of clinical tests.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the study on the vaccine which was conducted with the cooperation of a private compay from Japan was planned to be out by June.
“So far Malaysia has not conduct any vaccine study on its own but has cooperate with private companies from other countries such as Japan as it involved high costs.
“We receive the data on the vaccine’s trial test recently but several issues still need to be settled and it is expected to take some time,” he told reporters here today.
He said dengue cases were expected to continue increasing this year’s end, influenced by virus serotype and demographic patterns that would affect the study on vaccine provision.
“Dengue virus is complicated because there are four types, namely virus serotype dengue one, two, three and four and the recipient needs different vaccines to stay immune.
“Last year saw the highest trend, Den 2 (Dengue Two) and this year’s analysis shows more people were infected with Den 1 and the trend can change constantly,” he said.
Subramaniam said the high density population such as flat housing areas and industrial areas also doubled the spread of dengue and it was the main challenge in addressing the epidemic in the long term.
“Hence the ministry forges close cooperation with the local authorities and state government to address it, especially in eradicating dengue breeding grounds,” he said. – BERNAMA