Taipei, June 7 (CNA) Taiwan will cooperate with the United States in conducting clinical trials on a dengue fever vaccine targeting older people, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Tuesday.
The trials are expected to involve 250 people aged between 50 and 75 years in Taiwan, CDC Director-General Steve Kuo (郭旭崧) said.
If the trials are successful, the vaccine will be the world's first dengue fever vaccine targeting older people, he said.
The vaccine was developed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the results of clinical trials conducted in America, Brazil, Thailand and Bangladesh indicate that it can provide 80 percent-100 percent protection against four types of dengue virus, the CDC said.
Early this year, a third phase of clinical trials was carried out on people between 9 and 45 years old in Brazil, while a first phase was launched on people 50 years or older in the United States, the CDC said.
According to Kuo, most older people in Taiwan do not have antibodies against dengue viruses, and if they are infected with the mosquito-borne disease, they tend to develop serious complications.
CDC data show that during the last dengue fever season, 90 percent of the patients with serious complications were over 50.
During last month's World Health Assembly in Geneva, Taiwan and the U.S. reached an agreement on cooperation to develop a dengue fever vaccine.
Two experts from the NIH visited Taiwan June 4, during which they called on Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) and Health Minister Lin Tzou-yien (林奏延).
(By Chen Wei-ting and Y.F. Low)