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Vaccine Delay Putting Millions of Japanese Children at Risk (Japan)

This article was originally published in PharmAsia News

Executive Summary

Pharmaceutical companies working on a safer vaccine for Japanese encephalitis (JE) are not expected to have a new vaccine shot ready until 2009, which is putting Japanese children at risk. Two companies currently working on a new vaccine have reported adverse side-effects unacceptable in the widespread usage. Japan's government halted vaccination for JE in 2005 after a student became critically ill from the previously-approved inoculation regimen. JE is a viral illness attacking the nervous system. It is spread by mosquitoes who have feasted on pigs and then bite and infect humans. JE is fatal in 20 percent to 40 percent of cases. In September 2006, one three-year-old developed JE, the first person under six to report having the disease since 1991. (Click here for more
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