‘SL only country to discuss controlling dengue via vaccine’

Sri Lanka is the only country in the world which holds lengthy discussions and makes scientific decisions in connection with controlling dengue through a vaccine, Global Dengue Expert Prof. Scott B. Halsted said.

Addressing a press conference held at the Government Information Department Auditorium yesterday evening, he said that dengue vaccine cannot be given to all and it can cause more serious complications if given to some persons, if they come in contact with dengue after receiving the vaccine.

In any country in the world, vaccines are given to prevent diseases. If a vaccine does not prevent a diseases and also put the life of the recipient in more danger, it cannot be recommended according to the medical science. Singapore has registered the vaccine, but it is only available in pharmacies for those who like to get it, he said.

There are few dengue vaccines in the world at the moment. One of them is ready to be used. It had already been registered in few countries. Dengue exists in over 120 countries in the world. The world needs a vaccine that prevents dengue completely similar to the other vaccines which prevent diseases for sure, he added.

The National Coordinator of the National Dengue Control Programme Dr. Hasitha Tissera

said that different foreign companies have developed few dengue vaccines and one of them (a French Company), had made a request from the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) to register their vaccine in Sri Lanka.

Registering the vaccine in Sri Lanka is still at the discussion level. Vaccines usually prevent diseases, but this dengue vaccine does not always prevent dengue infection. Therefore, Sri Lanka will conduct further scientific research, studies, etc (especially on other countries which use the same vaccine) before registering the vaccine.

Centre for Clinical Management of Dengue and Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever Clinical Head Dr. Lakkumara Fernando said that the company which requested the registration says that if a person who received their vaccine get infected with dengue later, he/she will develop more serious complications than a person who did not receive the vaccine. Therefore, even this vaccine register in Sri Lanka it will not be recommended for all. 

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