Dengue vaccine cost may be lower

Concerns over the cost of producing a tetravalent dengue vaccine were lessened by new research showing that with an annual production rate of 60 million doses, each dose could be purchased for as little as 20 cents.

The research was funded by the Dengue Vaccine Initiative and utilized data on a vaccine developed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the facilities of the Instituto Butantan in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Experts said the findings should give confidence to ministries of health that the vaccine can be included their immunization programs. They said developing countries will be able to afford to be more aggressive when planning their dengue programs.

"The cost of a vaccine is one of the most important factors affecting its adoption and uptake," Richard Mahoney of the DVI said. "Our goal with this study was to determine the baseline expenses for the vaccine's production. We believe the results should help pave the way for the rapid introduction and distribution of a dengue vaccine once licensed."

The report said that determining a vaccine's price includes more than just production costs. In addition, the price of a dengue vaccine is likely to be lower when it is first introduced because demand may be low.

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