Monday, May 05, 2014

Malaysia may be first to have dengue vaccine

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will be the first country to have the vaccine for dengue in the next two years if no stumbling blocks stand in the way of approval from the authorities.

Baptiste De Clarens, the managing director of Sanofi Pasteur (Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei), the largest pharmaceutical company dedicated to manufacturing vaccines, said the phase three studies on the vaccine involving 10,000 children in Southeast Asia, shows that the vaccine could bring down the incidence of dengue by 56 per cent.
Dengue affects between 50 million and 100 million people worldwide a year.
"We are validating the analyses and hopefully the vaccine could be made available by late 2015 or 2016," said De Clarens recently for the launch of the country's first vaccine centre dedicated to adult immunisation at the Pantai Hospital here.
Sanofi Pasteur partners with Pantai Hospital in the VaxinLife programme offering various tools to support the centre, also known as Vaxin Centre@PHKL set up in conjunction with the 40 anniversary of the Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur.
This includes an immunisation expert software where a patient can be checked on what immunisations he needs, and a pre-designed communication package where the patient can be informed of his immunisation history and needs whenever she requires them.
Pantai Hospital chief executive officer Anwar Anis said the effectiveness of childhood vaccinations fade away over the years and so it is important that adults are vaccinated.
"Prevention is better than cure. With the inevitable increase in the cost of treatment, it is a sound investment," said Anwar.
Vaxin Centre@PHKL with specially trained consultants and nurses dispenses vaccine for influenza for as low as RM70, and RM367.50 for yellow fever.
There is a promotion till May 15 where the administrative cost of RM40 is waived.
More than a dozen vaccines are available at the Vaxin Centre including cholera, whooping cough or pertussis, hepatitis A, chickenpox, meningococcal disease, pneumococcal disease, human papilloma virus, Japanese encephalitis and rabies.

(From second left) Baptiste De Clarens, Anwar Anis, head of Pharmacy Services — Malaysia Operations Lee Seng Dee, Regional Head Dengue Asia Pacific and Commercial Operation of Sanofi Pasteur (Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia) senior director Joselito Santa Ana during the launch of Vaxin Centre. Pic by Nurul Shafina Jemenon

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