Dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia is approved!

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Severe dengue can have harmful health consequences, especially for children. Now, there is hope for a true preventative measure against this disease, with Mexico being the first country to approve the use of the dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia.

There is some good news in the fight against Dengue. Dengvaxia, a dengue vaccine has been approved for use in a first country!

Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease that largely affects people living in tropical and sub-tropical climates around the world, including Singapore.

According to the World Health Organisation, "severe dengue is a leading cause of serious illness and death among children in some Asian and Latin American countries."

So far, there has been no specific treatment for this disease, neither was there a dengue vaccination. But things just may be about to change in terms of dengue prevention, according to reports.

Dengue vaccine

Mexico is the first country to approve the use of the dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia. During the first treatment phase, 40,000 people between the ages of 9 and 49 will receive the dengue vaccine.

The treatment has been in the works for the last 20 years by French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis. The company said it spent $1.6 billion to develop the vaccine, which is designed to protect against the four strains of dengue virus.

Trials revealed that it can provide a 56.5% protection against the dengue disease.

A Rappler report also noted that 3 doses reduced the possibility of developing dengue hemorrhagic fever by 88.5% and the risk of hospitalization due to dengue was reduced by 67%. How much a dose will cost has yet to be finalized.

The Philippines took part in the last phase efficacy study of the dengue vaccine where 3,500 children from Laguna and Cebu were monitored over a 25-month period together with children from other Southeast Asian countries.

Trials have just begun in Singapore for the dengue vaccine, but it is unknown when actual products will be available.

Dengue is a present danger in Singapore, with 261 dengue cases reported just last week and over 9,700 cases in this year so far. Efforts to eradicate dengue in Singapore revolves around the removal of breeding grounds but the arrival of a dengue vaccine will allow for a permanent solution to this problem.

Share your thoughts on dengue vaccines in a comment below. 

Read more: Dengvaxia available in Singapore

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Written by

Tay Siew Ming

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