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Vaccine. 2003 Dec 8;22(1):121-9.

Policymakers' views on dengue fever/dengue haemorrhagic fever and the need for dengue vaccines in four southeast Asian countries.

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International Vaccine Institute, P.O. Box 14, Kwanak, 151-600 Seoul, South Korea.


A survey of policymakers and other influential professionals in four southeast Asian countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam) was conducted to determine policymakers' views on the public health importance of dengue fever and dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF), the need for a vaccine and the determinants influencing its potential introduction. The survey, which involved face-to-face interviews with policymakers, health programme managers, researchers, opinion leaders and other key informants, revealed an almost uniformly high level of concern about dengue fever/DHF and a high perceived need for a dengue vaccine. Several characteristics of the disease contribute to this high sense of priority, including its geographic spread, occurrence in outbreaks, the recurrent risk of infection each dengue season, its severity and the difficulty in diagnosis and management, its urban predominance, its burden on hospitals, and its economic toll on governments and families. Research felt to be key to future decision-making regarding dengue vaccine introduction include: disease surveillance studies, in-country vaccine trials or pilot projects, and studies on the economic burden of dengue and the cost-effectiveness of dengue vaccines. The results suggest favourable conditions for public and private sector markets for dengue vaccines and the need for creative financing strategies to ensure their accessibility to poor children in dengue-endemic countries.

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