Mexico joins Philippines, Brazil with dengue vaccine
WHILE the world awaits a Zika vaccine, the first-ever injection against dengue fever is spreading, with Mexico becoming the latest country where people can get the shot.
French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi presented its Dengvaxia vaccine to doctors at an event in eastern Mexico on September 10, while people aged nine to 45 will be able to get the shot from their physicians from today.
After public programs were launched in the Philippines and Brazil’s state of Parana this year, the company is rolling out the vaccine in the private sector in Mexico while health authorities prepare a public immunisation plan.
The head of Sanofi’s dengue program, Guillaume Leroy, told AFP in Mexico City that the company already has 1 million doses ready in the country.
Mr Leroy said it was difficult to estimate how much the vaccine will cost in Mexico as it will depend on the distribution networks and the public vaccination program.
The mosquito-borne virus costs governments around the world US$18 billion a year, Mr Leroy said.
“We estimate that in Mexico and in other countries that the benefits will outweigh the costs of the [vaccine] intervention,” he said.
Mexico was the first country in the world to give regulatory approval to the vaccine in December last year. Seven others followed suit, including Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru and the Philippines.
Sanofi is awaiting authorisations in 18 other countries.
The fast-growing disease infects as many as 400 million people every year, according to the World Health Organisation, which has endorsed the vaccine. –
Guillaume Leroy has 1 million doses of the vaccine for Mexico.