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Karnataka health department mulls writing to Centre about dengue vaccines

State health minister Dinesh Gundu Rao told DH that he has asked the department to constitute a team to study existing vaccines in other countries.
Last Updated : 08 July 2024, 17:00 IST

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Bengaluru: Amid rising dengue cases in Karnataka, the state health department is considering writing to the Centre to provide better clarity about dengue vaccines.

Sources in the state health department told DH that while there are “no immediate talks” about initiating the development of a vaccine for dengue without the approval of the Centre, they are open to exploring the possibility of writing to the central government regarding the scope for an approved vaccine. Presently, there is no approved vaccine for dengue in the country.

State health minister Dinesh Gundu Rao told DH that he has asked the department to constitute a team to study existing vaccines in other countries.

“I have told our officials to look into the status of dengue vaccines used in other countries, study their feasibility here, and put together a report. We can then maybe submit as a suggestion to the Centre to consider a dengue vaccine,” he said.

Vaccine development

Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda, which has developed Qdenga, a tetravalent vaccine for dengue, has been in talks with Indian drug regulators to launch local clinical trials in the country. The vaccine received prequalification by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in May 2024. A prequalification means that the medicine has met the quality and safety standards and specifications as laid out by the WHO.

Vaccine manufacturer Indian Immunologicals Limited is also in the process of developing a dengue vaccine in the country. As of earlier this year, they had completed their first phase of trials; they aim to launch the vaccine in 2026.

For now, Karnataka will focus on dengue prevention and control mechanisms with increased surveillance and larvae destruction at source.

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Published 08 July 2024, 17:00 IST

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