Last week, it was announced that the Philippines will be the first one to use the dengue vaccine in Asia. Unfortunately, it may take some time for us to use the vaccine widely.
On December 23, the Philippines approved the tetravalent vaccine Dengvaxia to fight against the four strains the virus. It will be used as a preventative measure. This vaccine is developed by Sanofi Pasteur, the French pharmaceutical division of Sanofi. It’s been authorised to sell it in the local marketing next year.
However, we will have to wait for the release of WHO pre qualification guidelines and recommendations before it can be provided for larger procurement.
This first anti-dengue vaccine was granted regulatory approval to be used in Asia.
But before the Philippines gave its nod, it was Mexico that first gave it an approval.
There are 20 other countries in Asia and America that review this vaccine to be used widely.
Considered as the fastest-growing mosquito-borne disease in the world, WHO reported dengue cases to rise 30 times in the last half century. This means that half of the world’s population is at risk and 67 million of them are in Asia. The endemicity of this disease is the result of jet age and migration to cities.
When Denvaxia was introduced, it was a welcome news to the country. From January 1 to August 8, 2015, dengue cases in the Philippines has increased. And by October of 2015, the number of cases has reached near the 100,000 mark.
The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine has been a major partner in the development of the vaccine. It was involved in all phases of the clinical development. Each stage was done in the cities of Manila and Cebu and some rural areas.
Other countries, on the other hand, took part in the testing phase only during the third phase of testing on actual patients for its effectiveness, efficacy and safety.
Image Source: Dengue Vaccine