10 Dec 2015

Samoa encouraged by dengue fever vaccine

4:28 pm on 10 December 2015

Samoa's Ministry of Health says it's encouraging to hear the world's first vaccine against dengue fever has been approved for use in Mexico.

The French pharmaceutical company Sanofi says it has been developing the vaccine, Dengvaxia, for 20 years and it was given the green light based on results from clinical trials involving more than 40,000 people.

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Photo: 123RF

It says the vaccine reduced the risk of hospitalisation by 80 percent and lowered the possibility of developing the severest form of the disease by 93 percent.

The director general for health in Samoa, Leausa Dr Take Naseri, says dengue is a problem in the country, so the news is welcome.

"I know that if it's viable and practical, we will not sit back and wait, but we would love to have that also for our people because dengue is one of the viruses that kills people."

Leausa Dr Take Naseri says however, as yet he does not have enough information to make an appropriate decision for Samoa regarding the vaccine.

He says he intends to speak with representatives from the World Health Organisation to get their opinion about the vaccine.