Mex­ico joins Philip­pines, Brazil with dengue vac­cine

The Myanmar Times - - World -

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. –

Photo: AFP

Guil­laume Leroy has 1 mil­lion doses of the vac­cine for Mex­ico.

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