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Leading Dengue Fever Vaccine Candidate 30% Effective In First Large Clinical Trial

“The leading candidate to become the world’s first vaccine against dengue fever was only 30 percent effective in its first large clinical trial, dealing at least a temporary setback to efforts to control a disease that threatens half the world’s population,” the New York Times reports. “Still, the study marked a milestone in the 70-year quest to develop such a vaccine, demonstrating that a safe and effective inoculation against dengue is feasible, researchers reported in a paper published online Monday in the Lancet,” the newspaper adds (Pollack, 9/10). “Tested among just over 4,000 children in rural Thailand who were badly exposed to the mosquito-borne fever, the vaccine had no side effects but only worked against three out of the four dengue strains,” Agence France-Presse writes (9/10).

“The good news is that the study showed that the vaccine is safe and that it appears to work well against some strains of the dengue virus,” NPR’s “Shots” blog states (Palca, 9/10). “The results are ‘the first-ever demonstration that dengue vaccine is possible, and that’s huge,’ said Dr. Nadia G. Tornieporth, an author of the paper and head of global clinical research and development at Sanofi Pasteur, the company that is developing the vaccine and sponsored the trial,” according to the New York Times (9/10). “Further trials [of the vaccine] are currently under way in a number of different countries, and we hope that the positive results of this trial will be confirmed by these larger studies,” Derek Wallace of Sanofi Pasteur, one of the authors of the report, said, IRIN adds (9/11). “There is currently no treatment or vaccine for dengue, which causes symptoms including fever, severe joint pain, headache and bleeding,” the Associated Press notes (Cheng, 9/10).

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