SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

Philippines officials approve Sanofi Pasteur vaccine for dengue

Update on dengue virus in China | Courtesy of webmd.com
Philippines health officials on Tuesday approved the vaccine Dengvaxia, manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur, for use against dengue.

"Approval of the first dengue vaccine in Asia, which bears 70 percent of global disease burden, is a major milestone in dengue prevention and public health,” Sanofi Pasteur President and CEO Olivier Charmeil said.   

Tropical climes in and around Asia and surrounding countries foster the spread of dengue disease, which makes deployment and distribution of Dengvaxia most important. This preventive measure will lower the prevalence of dengue, which affects nearly 67 million people annually in Asia.

Research indicates vaccination could reduce mortality by 50 percent by 2020 in countries susceptible to the spread of dengue. Vaccine availability, coupled with the willingness of vulnerable populations to be vaccinated, could help lower the incidence of dengue, but willingness to accept vaccination proves challenging, as many leaders in susceptible regions have little knowledge of the efficacy of vaccination against disease.

The approach becomes a two-fold mission of education and vaccination distribution. Dengvaxia itself, the world standard of prevention of dengue, has been proved as the most efficacious vaccine available for dengue. The continuing challenge is to educate health officials in those countries to dengue of its benefits.

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