World's first Dengue vaccine out

Dengue is one of the most devastating mosquito borne diseases in the world. Plaguing mostly the developing countries, Dengue is a health hazard that takes scores of lives every year.

Asian countries spend an estimated 6.5 billion USD annually in both direct and indirect medical costs due to Dengue. The situation gets murkier because of the absence of any kind of preventive medicines for the same. But as they say where there is a will there is a way and we humans have proved it time and again that we, with the help of technology and resources can overcome even the most difficult of problems.

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, announced today that vaccinations with Dengvaxia® have commenced in Philippines following official receipt of the first shipment of the vaccine earlier this month. Dengvaxia®, a tetravalent dengue vaccine, was approved in Philippines on 22 December 2015 for the prevention of all four Dengue types in individuals from 9-45 years of age living in endemic areas. The vaccine is administered in three doses given over a one-year period, the press release mentioned.

In Philippines alone, over 110,000 people on an average get Dengue every year whereas Asia bears 70% of dengue fever burden globally with an estimated 67 million people being sickened by the disease annually.

"This is truly a great moment in the history of vaccinology," states Guillaume Leroy, Vice-President of Dengue Vaccine, Sanofi Pasteur. "Dengvaxia®'s availability for administration by healthcare providers in the Philippines, to be followed closely by the initiation of a public sector immunization program in the country is a landmark event for global Dengue prevention and a great achievement for the people of the Philippines."

Dengue is a growing public health threat in tropical and subtropical countries in Asia and Latin America. Mainly an urban disease found in over 120 countries where half the world's population lives, Dengue typically hits in the form of unpredictable outbreaks capable of paralyzing health care systems and disrupting social and economic activity in these city centers.

Sanofi Pasteur is introducing Dengvaxia® first in Philippines where the vaccine has the greatest potential to reduce the disease burden. World Health Organization' goal aims to reduce dengue mortality by 50% and morbidity by 25% by 2020 in endemic countries.

Feb 24, 2016

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