First dengue vaccine approved for use in Latin America
Dec 10, Mexico City: Mexican health authorities have approved the first vaccine to gain official acceptance for use against the dengue virus. It is estimated that around 390 million people infected with dengue every year, mostly in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
The federal medical safety agency said that the vaccine has undergone testing on over 29,000 patients worldwide.
The agency did not name the drug but the France-based Sanofi Pasteur identified the vaccine as Dengvaxia.
Mexico said the vaccine is aimed at people aged 9 to 45 and will be used in areas where the disease is endemic.
The World Health Organization (WHO) 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.
Sanofi said its vaccine was shown to "reduce dengue due to all four serotypes [strains] in two-thirds of the participants", a figure similar to the 65.6 percent rate reported in a study published in September by the New England Journal of Medicine.
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 haemorrhagic fever, which can cause internal bleeding, shock, organ failure and death.
Sanofi said in its statement that the drug "prevented 9 out of 10 cases of severe dengue and 8 out 10 hospitalisations due to dengue".
The Oslo Times