The dengue vaccine is an important weapon in the fight against the disease and guarantees relative protection against the four serotypes of the virus that cause it.The dengue kills several people every year in our country. This disease, despite being often asymptomatic, can progress to severe conditions and thus cause death. As it does not have specific treatment, the best medicine remains prevention.
- Weapons against dengue
For a long time, the main and only weapon against dengue was the destruction of Aedes aegypti , the mosquito that transmits the four serotypes of the virus that causes the disease. The main way to decrease Aedes is to destroy breeding grounds for the mosquito, which reproduces in standing water.
In December 2015, however, we saw this situation change, and the first vaccine against dengue was registered by the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa). This vaccine, called Dengvaxia, was manufactured by the French laboratory Sanofi Pasteur and protects against the four existing serotypes. Although Zika and Chikungunya are transmitted by A. aegypti, the vaccine does not provide protection against these diseases.
How is the dengue vaccine made and how should it be used?
The dengue vaccine is manufactured using an attenuated dengue virus, that is, in a form incapable of causing the disease. Despite being unable to cause dengue in the patient, the virus allows the immune system to produce antibodies against it, ensuring protection against the disease.
The vaccine should be administered in three doses, which should be administered at intervals of six months. Although the action starts from the first application, the protection will only be complete after the three doses.
Who can get the dengue vaccine?
The dengue vaccine should be used by people aged 9 to 45 years. It should not be given to people who are allergic to the components present in the vaccine or to people who are currently with the disease. Pregnant women should also not take Dengvaxia, as there are no studies that guarantee the safety of the vaccine in this group. It is important to note that anyone who has had dengue is able to get the vaccine.
Does the vaccine protect 100% against dengue?
The vaccine against dengue currently marketed is not 100% effective against the disease. It is estimated that two out of three people are immunized. Therefore, although the vaccine is an important weapon against dengue, preventive measures must still be taken to prevent the over-reproduction of the A. aegypti mosquito .
Does the vaccine have side effects?
The dengue vaccine can cause adverse reactions, as well as other vaccines and medications. Among the main reactions, we can mention fever, pain in the place where the vaccine was applied, local redness, swelling and headaches.
Are any Brazilian vaccines available on the market?
So far, no Brazilian vaccine is being distributed. However, it is worth mentioning that the Butantan Institute presents a vaccine in the testing stage that should soon be available to the population.