Mexico has become the first country in the world to approve the use of a new vaccine against dengue fever. The preventive injection developed by pharma major Sanofi targets all virus serotypes which have appeared in Portugal, France, Florida and Japan.
The French drugmaker said it expects 20 countries, which include ones with the most cases, to approve the jab in coming weeks. Here is all you need to know about the vaccine.
1. The vaccine ,Dengvaxia, is manufactured by French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi. The company has requested market approval in 20 countries across Asia and Latin America, but Mexico was the first to give it the go-ahead.
2. The preventive treatment is approved for all dengue virus serotypes (1 to 4),as categorised by the World Health Organization. But it is only for patients aged between 9 and 45 who live in areas where the disease is endemic. This means it has no approval yet for use on young children, a population considered to be most at risk, or for use by tourists.
3. Health officials estimate it will prevent 8,000 hospitalisations and 104 deaths a year. WHO estimates suggest 400 million people in the world are infected with dengue every year and that it is endemic in more than 100 countries. It’s the fastest-growing mosquito-borne disease in the world, has no known cure, and kids are particularly at risk of becoming infected. This year, nearly 85,000 dengue cases were reported across India, with more than 15,000 affected in capital Delhi alone.
4. Mexican regulators gave approval based on results from a clinical development program involving over 40,000 people from 15 countries of different ages, geographic and epidemiological settings as well as of varied ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. It was also found to reduce the risk of hospitalisation by 80% and to lower the possibility of developing the severest, haemorrhagic form of the disease by 93%.
5. Sanofi has not agreed on a price with the Mexican government yet, but expects to do so in the coming weeks. Deliveries to Mexico from a plant near Lyon, France, will start early next year.
6. Sanofi already has 2 million doses available, and by 2017, would have the capacity to make 100 million doses a year. A stockpile for the European Union will be shipped early next year, and for the United States a year later.