Updated on 18 December 2012
Hope for Japanese encephalitis patients - Sanofi launches vaccine in Thailand
Singapore: Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi has introduced its Japanese encephalitis (JE) vaccine in Thailand. The innovative JE vaccine requires a single dose for immunization against JE in adults. In children, a booster dose is recommended 12-to-24 months after the primary injection to ensure long-term protection. Sanofi Pasteur had recently launched the Japanese encephalitis vaccine in Australia.
About three billion people in Asia Pacific are at risk of JE for which there is no specific treatment. JE is most common in children under 15 years of age. It is the leading cause of childhood viral neurological infection and disability in Asia.
"There is no specific treatment for Japanese encephalitis and vaccination is the most effective way to be protected," said Dr Kulkanya Chokephaibulkit, professor of pediatric infectious diseases at Siriraj Medical School. "This new JE vaccine has shown to provide seroprotection to 96 percent of the children just a month after one dose and long term protection after a booster. It should stimulate greater adoption of vaccination against JE in Thailand in order to more efficiently protect children and adults against this devastating disease."
Thai health authorities granted marketing authorization to the new JE vaccine based on the review of clinical studies involving over 4,000 children and adults, which demonstrated the safety of the vaccine and its ability to generate a protective immune response with one dose.
"This is an innovative vaccine that confers high-level protection against JE after one dose . It can be easily integrated in the paediatric immunization schedule," said Mr Emin Turan, GM, Sanofi Pasteur in Thailand. "We believe the new Japanese encephalitis vaccine will help reduce the burden of this devastating disease in children and contribute to improve public health in Thailand."