The dengue vaccine

By: Osler Health International

Osler Health clinics
Posted on: 27 May 2022

Who is eligible for the Dengue vaccine and is it safe?

Dengvaxia, the dengue vaccine, is available in Singapore for the prevention of dengue caused by dengue virus serotypes 1, 2, 3 and 4. Overall, this vaccine has been shown to be 80% effective in protecting against dengue illness, severe dengue and hospitalisation in those who have had previous dengue infections
Dengvaxia is given as an injection just under the skin (subcutaneous), usually of your upper arm. It is given as 3 injections with an interval of 6 months between each.

There are certain criteria for eligibility for Dengvaxia:

  • In Singapore, it is only used for individuals aged between 12 to 45 years.
  • You cannot take this vaccine if you have never had a dengue infection before.
  • Any allergy to the ingredients of Dengvaxia precludes you from taking this vaccine.
  • If you are immunosuppressed (either due to medications you are taking or any underlying conditions) you should not take Dengvaxia.
  • You are not pregnant and/or not breastfeeding.

Some commonly reported side effects of this vaccine are:

  • Injection site redness, swelling, itchiness and pain
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Lethargy and muscle aches

Some people may have more significant reactions to the vaccine (like other vaccines or medical procedures):

  • This is usually helped by sitting or lying down for 15 minutes. Please let your doctor know if you have had such fainting spells before with other vaccines or medical procedures
  • Severe allergic reaction (difficulty breathing, swelling of face or throat, blueness of tongue or lips, rash, dizziness / collapse).

Is it dangerous to get Dengue twice or more? 

Anyone who gets dengue may have mild or severe symptoms.

However, if you have had dengue infection in the past, you are more likely to develop severe dengue. The symptoms of severe dengue tend to begin after your fever has eased. The symptoms of severe dengue to look out for are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • This may be from nose or gums. You may also notice blood in your vomit and/or stools.
  • Lethargy, fatigue, restlessness, irritability.

If any of the above warning signs are present, please see your doctor immediately or go to the closest Accidents & Emergencies for a thorough assessment. Severe dengue requires immediate medical care.

If you wish to see one of the Osler Health doctors please make an appointment.

Raffles Hotel Arcade Star Vista