AS A pharmaceutical company marches towards having the world's first dengue vaccine, an official of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) has admitted that their test of the vaccine is showing "promising" results.

In a recent interview, RITM – Department of Microbiology head Rosario Capeding said their independent trials of the Sanofi Pasteur vaccine versus dengue have had positive results.

"The results are promising. It is important to have a vaccine against dengue but, at the same time, we should not set aside the primary control measure against dengue, which is vector control," Capeding said at the sideline of the Asean Dengue Summit hosted by the Philippines last weekend.

She noted how independent trials of the Sanofi vaccine had shown a 56 percent reduction of the mosquito-borne disease.

The trials involved 2,567 children aged two to 14 in San Pablo City, Laguna and more than 900 others in Cebu City.

The RITM, Capeding related, had started vaccinating the children against dengue last June 2011 with three doses of vaccines with an interval of six months.

Aside from Sanofi, Capeding said that five other pharmaceutical companies doing clinical trials for dengue vaccines but are still at lower "phases".

"But only Sanofi has reached the Phase 3, which is the last phase of clinical development, before it is licensed and released to the market," said Capeding.

And according to Sanofi Pasteur head of Dengue Asia Pacific and Commercial Operations Dr. Joselito Sta. Ana, they are optimistic of having the vaccine approved by health authorities as it has not shown any adverse reactions yet.

"Aside from low grade fever, there is no reported case of adverse event," said Sta. Ana while noting that low grade fever is common among vaccine recipients.

Presently, he said they are just waiting for the results of the "large efficacy study" done on the vaccine in Latin America.

"The first criteria that needs to be satisfied are its safety and its efficacy," said Sta. Ana.

He said the results would then be analyzed by the end of the year, after which the documents will be submitted to respective health authorities of various countries for licensing.

"The main objective of Sanofi Pasteur is to make this vaccine accessible to countries, to the people who need it most," said Sta. Ana.

Based on the latest Dengue Surveillance Report of the Department of Health, there are already a total of 23,867 dengue cases recorded nationwide from January 1 to May 31. (HDT/Sunnex)