The ASEAN Member States Dengue Vaccination Advocacy Steering Committee (ADVASC) is a dedicated and independent scientific forum that aims to disseminate information and make recommendations about dengue vaccine introduction strategies in South-East Asia. The inaugural Steering Committee meeting was held in Bangkok, Thailand on 16 December 2011 and addressed topics of dengue epidemiology documenting the increasing prevalence of the disease across the ASEAN region and at the individual country level and dengue infection in adults, which is often misdiagnosed due to the perception of dengue as a pediatric disease.1
The ADVASC convened the first ASEAN Dengue Vaccination Advocacy (1st ADVA) Regional Workshop during 21-23 September, 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand to review the current status of dengue surveillance and diagnostics in the ASEAN region. ADVASC has then recommended an evidence-based approach to strengthening and harmonizing key attributes to dengue surveillance including case classification, data collection, data analysis and laboratory testing. Strengthening vaccination policy will require further investment in existing health systems to detection, surveillance, case confirmation and response, and recommendations for research and advocacy are also outlined.2
The 2nd ADVA Regional Workshop was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during 4-5 March 2014 with the key objectives of endorsement of the value of ADVA through alignment of values with upcoming dengue activities. An update on recent transversal dengue surveillance and control activities in the region and the ASEAN dengue situation in 2013 were presented. Attendees made recommendations that build on those of the first ADVA workshop and that encourage the development of collaborations and the improvement of regional data sharing networks. These recommendations will lead to informed decisions about vaccine introduction priorities and facilitate communication about vaccination programme effectiveness. A 3rd ADVA workshop, being planned for later this year, will make recommendations about vaccination programme strategies including target groups, age cohorts, and catch-up programmes."
Professor Usa Thisyakorn M.D.
1. Thisyakorn U. ADVASC-new regional initiative supporting transition from dengue vaccine to vaccination in Southeast Asia. Vaccine 2012; 30: 5587-8.
2. Thisyakorn U, Capeding MR, Goh D, Hadinegoro SR, Ismail Z, Tantawichien T, et al. Preparing for dengue vaccine introduction: Recommendations from the 1st ADVA regional Workshop. (submitted).