TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The first dengue fever vaccine is now available in Indonesia. “The first dengue fever vaccine has been given the green light by the Drug and Food Monitoring Agency [BPOM] and is now available,” Cissy B. Kartasasmita, chairwoman of Immunization Task Force, the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI), said on Sunday, October 16, 2016.
According to Cissy, test results show that the vaccine manufactured by France-based Sanofi Pasteur is proven to be effective in treating children aged 9-16. “At that age, the vaccine’s protection capability is proven to be good and it is safe to be given,” she said.
Cissy said that three doses of vaccine shall be given at 6-month intervals. Each dose contains the vaccine for four types of dengue viruses, namely DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4. “The vaccine is effective for all types of dengue [viruses],” she said.
At present, dengue fever vaccine is used for personal use only because it has yet to be included in the national immunization program, like hepatitis, polio, measles and HIV. “Going forward, we expect the vaccine to be included in the national program,” she said. A dengue fever shot costs Rp900,000 [roughly US$69], excluding tax.
Indonesian Technical Advisory Committee on Immunization chairman Sri Rezeki S. Hadinegoro said Indonesia is the second country in Asia and seventh in the world to have allowed the use of the vaccine after Mexico, Brazil, El Salvador, Costa Rica, the Philippines and Paraguay.
According to Rezeki, Indonesia has been hyperendemic for dengue fever. In April 2016, the country recorded over 80,000 dengue fever cases, a 39 percent increase relative to 2015. Indonesia also spends the most in addressing dengue fever with over US$323 million (Rp4.2 trillion) per annum.
ERWIN ZACHRI | SITA PLANASARI