Dengvaxia – the Dengue Vaccine

Another disease spread by mosquitoes, dengue, affects urban population in middle-income countries from Latin America and Asia, in addition to poorer nations like Africa. Because of a water shortage in Sao Paulo made residents to store drinking supplies in everything they could find, tanks, pots and so on – creating the perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes and a dengue epidemic involving thousands of cases. 139 diagnoses have been confirmed in Hawaii on an ongoing outbreak, most of them being local residents.

What is dengue and what are symptoms?

A flu-like illness is caused by dengue infection that can even develop into potentially fatal complications. There should be taken into consideration warning signs like: bleeding gums, vomiting, rapid breathing (tachypnea) and a severe abdominal pain. About 390 million dengue infections per year were estimated and this disease kills less that 1 percent of the ones infected.

On December 9, 2015 in Lyon – France, the vaccines division of Sanofi, announced that the Mexican authorities have granted marketing authorization to Dengvaxia. With this decision it became the first vaccine to be licensed in the world for the prevention of dengue. The Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks has given it’s approval for Dengvaxis (trivalent dengue vaccine), as a prevention of disease caused by all four of the dengue virus serotypes in preadolescences, adolescents and adults for 9 to 45 years of age that live in endemic areas. This approval is based on results from a very extended clinical development program in which were involved over 40,000 people in different geographic and epidemiological setting, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds and of different ages living in 15 countries. From Mexico dengue-endemic regions have participated in all three phases of the clinical development program for this vaccine.

In other endemic countries review processes for Dengvaxia are regularly continuing to evolve and expand. In France the manufacturing of Dengvaxia has already started and the first batch of doses is already produced. In countries where dengue is a major public health issue, Sanofi Pasteuf remains committed to introducing Dengvaxia as a priority.

This vaccine is the culmination of over two decades of scientific innovation and collaboration and the clinical studies in 15 countries all over the world. In this study over 40,000 volunteers have taken part ( phase I, II and III) of whom 29,000 volunteers received the vaccine. In 2014 Dengvaxia successfully completed phase III of clinical studies that included evaluating the primary objective of vaccine efficacy.

According to the World Health Organization, this injection can counteract all four types of the virus. This virus recently appeared in Portugal, France, Florida and Japan and increased the risk of huge outbreaks.
Dengvaxia developed over the past 20 years at a cost of 1.5 billion euros. This included manufacturing investments and is awaiting approval in at least another 19 countries. Mexico has approved it for people between the ages 9 and 45 that live in endemic areas. By 2020, according to analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg, Dengvaxia’s sales might reach over 1.4 billion $. The vice president of the dengue vaccine team at Sanofi said that in some countries it might be distributed for free.


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