First Dengue Vaccine: Mexican has approved the first dengue vaccine to gain official acceptance for use against the dengue virus.
Mosquitoes transmit the dengue virus. Symptoms include high fevers and severe muscle and joint pain. There’s no specific treatment for dengue.
The first dengue vaccine has undergone testing on over 29,000 patients worldwide. The vaccine’s manufacturer had proved its safety and effectiveness. The Lyon, France-based Sanofi Pasteur identified the vaccine as Dengvaxia.
The vaccine is aimed at people ages 9 to 45 and will be used in areas where the disease is endemic.
According to a World Health Organization report published in late 2014, the vaccine had an average rate of effectiveness of about 60.8 percent in protecting against the four strains of dengue currently circulating.
First Dengue Vaccine
First dengue vaccine was shown to reduce dengue due to all four serotypes (strains) in two-thirds of the participants.
That is relatively low for a vaccine. Common vaccines like those for measles and polio are more than 95 percent effective.
But Dengvaxia appeared to be particularly effective in protecting people from the most extreme, potentially life-threatening form of the disease, known as dengue hemorrhagic fever, which can cause internal bleeding, shock, organ failure and death.
That form of the disease seems to hit people who have already had one strain of dengue, and then suffer a subsequent infection by a different strain.
The drug prevented 9 out of 10 cases of severe dengue and 8 out 10 hospitalizations due to dengue.
Countries will have to weigh whether another treatment or simply spraying to reduce mosquitoes would prevent more illnesses and deaths for the same money.
This first dengue vaccine could help prevent 104 deaths and 8,000 hospital admissions and save about $65 million in health expenditures annually.
WHO’s report said it was unclear how long the vaccine would protect those who receive it.