The Gazette | Dengue vaccine is offered by SUS; understand how it works

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Initially, the vaccines are intended for regions with the highest incidence and transmission of the virus, covering children and adolescents aged 10 to 14.

Published on February 3, 2024 at 07:43

4min reading


Doses of dengue vaccine begin to be distributed in February. (Rogério Vidmantas/Dourados City Hall)

Dengue vaccine is offered by SUS; understand how it works

Brazil achieved a historic milestone by being the pioneer in the implementation of dengue vaccines in the public health system — the SUS. Developed by the Japanese laboratory Takeda, the doses will initially be targeted at areas with the highest incidence and transmission of the virus, benefiting children and adolescents between 10 and 14 years old. In Espírito Santo, 20 municipalities will be covered.

According to information from the federal government news agency, the Qdenga vaccine was evaluated by the National Commission for Technology Incorporation (Conitec) in the SUS. The vaccine is intended to serve large municipalities that have shown a high rate of transmission in the last ten years, with a resident population equal to or greater than 100 thousand inhabitants. Furthermore, it takes into account the high contamination rates recorded in recent months. The target audience in 2024 will be children and adolescents, the age group that represents the largest number of hospitalizations due to dengue. The vaccination schedule consists of two doses, with an interval of three months between them.

Check out the main information about the vaccine:

1. What is the SUS vaccination strategy against dengue?

– The Ministry of Health reported that 521 Brazilian municipalities were selected to begin vaccination against dengue by the SUS from February. The cities make up a total of 37 health regions that, according to the ministry, are considered endemic for the disease. In Espírito Santo, 20 municipalities will be covered. The selected regions meet three criteria: they are made up of large municipalities, with more than 100 thousand inhabitants; record high dengue transmission in the period 2023-2024; and have a greater predominance of the DENV-2 serotype.

2. Who is the target audience in the SUS?

Through SUS, children and adolescents aged 10 to 14 will be vaccinated, the age group that has the highest number of hospitalizations due to dengue. The numbers show that, from January 2019 to November 2023, the group accounted for 16,400 hospitalizations, second only to the elderly, a group for which the vaccine was not authorized because there were no tests in this age group. People aged 4 to 60 can also receive the vaccine, but on a private network.

3. How is dengue transmitted and how many viral serotypes are there?

– Dengue is transmitted by infected mosquitoes. There are four viral serotypes: DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3 and DENV-4, varying depending on location and season.

4. What is the composition of the Qdenga vaccine?

– Qdenga is tetravalent, produced with live attenuated virus. This formulation improves the immune response and simulates the body’s defense against dengue.

5. What was the vaccine approval process like in Brazil?

– Anvisa approved Qdenga in March 2023, after studying more than 28 thousand people. The concession allows commercialization, with continuous monitoring of the effects.

6. How was the vaccine incorporated into the SUS?

– Before incorporation, Conitec evaluated Qdenga. Conitec, linked to the Ministry of Health, approved the incorporation, being responsible for evaluating technologies in the SUS.

7. Who can get vaccinated initially?

– Vaccination covers children and adolescents aged 10 to 14, targeting areas of high incidence and limited doses.

8. Which groups are included in vaccine development studies?

– The studies involved 20,099 children aged 4 to 16, divided by region and age in endemic countries.

9. How many doses make up the Qdenga vaccination schedule?

– The scheme is two doses, with an interval of 90 days between each dose.

10. Can people who have already had dengue get the vaccine?

– Yes, vaccination is recommended for prevention or milder symptoms. Those recently diagnosed must wait six months before receiving the vaccine.

11. How effective is the Qdenga vaccine?

– The Brazilian Society of Immunizations (SBIm) indicates efficacy against DENV-1 (69.8%), DENV-2 (95.1%), and DENV-3 (48.9%). The overall protective efficacy is 84.1%, with a good response in cases of hospitalization.

12. What are Qdenga’s contraindications?

– Pregnant women, breastfeeding women and people with immunodeficiency should not take the vaccine. Contraindications are similar to vaccines made with a live virus.

13. How does Qdenga differ from Dengvaxia?

– Qdenga is aimed at a wider range of the population, unlike Dengvaxia, which is restricted to those who have already had dengue. Dengvaxia was not incorporated into the SUS.

14 – When does vaccination start?

In February. The Minister of Health Nísia Trindade announced, this Thursday (1st), that the vaccines will begin to be distributed in the week from the 5th and, with the arrival of the vaccines in the municipalities, the municipal administration will be responsible for organizing the vaccination.

With information from Agência Gov

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