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Protecting Families: QDenga® Dengue Vaccine Now Available in Malaysia

by on 20/06/2024 1255

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), dengue cases have risen from 500,000 in 2000 to 5.2 million in 2019, with Asia accounting for 70% of the burden.

In Malaysia alone, dengue cases have seen an upward tick, with 123,133 cases reported in 2023 – an 86.3% rise compared to the previous year. Dengue-related deaths also increased by 78.6%, with the highest concentration of cases in Selangor.

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The impacts on the individual level are significant: affecting households, threatening livelihoods, and causing lingering illness. In cases of severe dengue, it could mean hospitalisation, organ damage, even death.

Takeda Malaysia’s recent launch of Qdenga® – a live, attenuated dengue vaccine indicated for the prevention of dengue disease – represents a crucial addition to Malaysia’s current dengue prevention and management strategies.

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(From left)Dr. Goh Choo Beng, Head of Medical Affairs, Takeda India & Southeast Asia (I-SEA), Professor Datuk Dr. Zulkifli Ismail, Consultant Paediatrician and Paediatric Cardiologist, Chairman of Dengue Prevention Advocacy Malaysia (DPAM), Dr. Lynette Moey, Country General Manager, Takeda Malaysia & Singapore, and Mr Sony Paul, Vaccine Franchise Head, Takeda Malaysia & Singapore, at the launch of Takeda’s dengue vaccine in Malaysia.

The vaccine was approved earlier this year by The Drug Control Authority (DCA) Malaysia, based on extensive data that demonstrated its efficacy, safety, and quality. It is indicated for individuals aged four years and older and is now available in most private hospitals and clinics across the country.

Is the Qdenga® vaccine safe for families and children?

For parents who may be considering vaccinating themselves and their children for protection against dengue, here are some facts and figures:

  • Qdenga® is based on a live-attenuated dengue serotype-2 virus, which provides the genetic ‘backbone’ for all four dengue virus serotypes. As such, it can protect against all four dengue virus serotypes effectively.
  • Qdenga® is approved for use in individuals regardless of whether they have had dengue before, and without the need for pre-vaccination testing.
  • Qdenga® showed 80.2% overall protection against dengue after 12 months of follow-up, and 90.4% protection against hospitalised dengue after 18-months follow-up.
  • Over the course of four and a half years (54 months), Qdenga® demonstrated continued overall protection and was generally well tolerated, with sustained overall vaccine efficacy (VE) of 84.1% and 61.2% against hospitalised and symptomatic dengue, respectively.

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(From left to right) Dr. Goh, Professor Datuk Dr. Zulkifli, and Dr. Moey share their thoughts on integrated dengue management at Takeda’s dengue vaccine launch.

Currently, Qdenga® has been approved in more than 30 countries, including the European Union, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Argentina, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia.

Malaysians can now consult with their doctors and healthcare professionals in private hospitals and clinics to learn more about the vaccine for dengue prevention and protection.

Takeda Malaysia has also launched a #JomHalauDenggi campaign, which offers educational tools like the website and the online game to make learning about dengue fun and engaging.

Ways you can protect yourself and your little ones from dengue

Dengue prevention is a collective effort, one that brings together government, the private sector, academic institutions, and the community.

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On an individual level, the best way to lower the risk of infection for our families is by actively contributing to a dengue-safe community and dengue-safe home. The WHO recommends:

  • Keeping water storage covered and cleaning them on a weekly basis
  • Ensuring containers that can hold water (such as vases or pet food bowls) are emptied regularly
  • Equipping your home with mosquito nets, door / window screens
  • Disposing of solid waste properly
  • Utilising mosquito repellents, coils, and vaporisers indoors, as well as the appropriate insecticides to outdoor storage containers

While the introduction of Qdenga® in Malaysia marks a pivotal step in combating dengue –effective prevention is a collaborative effort, one that begins at home, helping to create a dengue-safe environment for all.