Is the dengue vaccine safe? Is it effective? What happens if a patient receives only one dose instead of the recommended three? Can it be given to a two-year-old?
Because of its novelty, the dengue vaccine is the subject of many pressing questions, not to mention heated arguments. Even doctors who have been practicing for decades still have queries about the dengue vaccine, which is why coming up with a few informal FAQs have become a priority for me.
I know you must be so confused, what with the Department of Health having procured the vaccine for 1 million children in a three-billion-peso vaccine program despite still-ongoing trials (ethics in research and politics, anyone?), so let’s take a look behind the curtain and find out all that we can about the first-ever dengue vaccine: CYD-TDV (brand name Dengvaxia by Sanofi Pasteur).
Question #1: Is the dengue vaccine safe?
Because of the dichotomy of opinion on the subject of safety, the best people to ask this are those who have nothing to gain from the dengue vaccine – those who happen to be experts on epidemiology and evidence-based medicine.