Health Minister Zahid Maleque stated today that the recently developed dengue vaccine is still in the trial stage and will only be administered once it receives approval from the World Health Organization (WHO). The vaccine, a collaborative effort between ICDDR,B and the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont (UVM), necessitates further trials and WHO’s endorsement for clinical use in combating dengue disease. He emphasized that no country in the world has yet developed a dengue vaccine and that approval from WHO is a prerequisite before its implementation against the mosquito-borne illness. The trials of this promising tetravalent dengue vaccine, known as TV005, were conducted for the first time in Bangladesh by ICDDR,B and UVM. These trials demonstrated safety and effective immune responses in both children and adults and were recently published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal. Rashidul Haque, a senior scientist at ICDDR’B, highlighted the importance of an effective tetravalent dengue vaccine for Bangladesh, where severe dengue outbreaks have been increasingly prevalent. The TV005 vaccine’s unique feature of being a single-dose tetravalent dengue vaccine was praised by Beth Kirkpatrick, who led the UVM team. She also noted that it appears to induce immune responses to all four dengue serotypes, a crucial aspect for any tetravalent dengue vaccine.
Minister Maleque commended Bangladesh’s remarkable achievements in various aspects of the health sector, garnering global recognition, particularly for the successful elimination of deadly diseases like tuberculosis. He also highlighted the international acknowledgment of Bangladesh’s community clinics, a concept initiated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, which was lauded at the United Nations General Assembly. Maleque acknowledged the severe impact of dengue on Bangladesh this year and assured that the government is diligently addressing the dengue outbreak, given the record number of dengue-positive cases and deaths reported.