The first anti-dengue vaccine will be available in the Philippines soon. Would this be the answer to the increasing number of deaths as the result of dengue in the Philippines? Hopefully.
On December 22, 2015, a French pharmaceutical company announced that the Philippines approved Dengvaxia, the first anti-dengue vaccine, to prevent all four types of dengue in individuals from 9 to 45 years old.
With this in mind, the Philippines will be the first country in Asia to approve the first vaccine. The disease is still prevalent in Asian countries, particularly in the Philippines. Every year, there’s an estimated 67 million people contracting it.
In our country, the prevention of disease is an urgent medical priority. Considered as one of the most cost-effective methods to lower the spread of this disease, vaccination remains a widely accepted method.
Within 50 years, the disease has spread to 128 countries.
The introduction of the anti-dengue vaccine in the Philippines could prevent millions of deaths from the disease as dengue is regarded as the “fastest-growing mosquito-borne disease.”
Scientists continue to be perplexed by dengue so they are forced to find that one drug to fight all four separate strains.
During clinical tests, Denvaxia was able to immunize two-thirds of individuals aged nine years and above. The positive effects have risen to 93 percent for the most serious form of the disease. It was also noted that it has reduced the risk of hospitalization.
Currently, there’s no known cure for this disease.
Dengue can cause crippling fever, associated with muscle and joint pain. The deadliest form of dengue is killing 22,000 people every year, according to WHO.
Before, dengue was considered a disease of the tropics, limited to nine countries. But because of urbanization and globalization, as well as climate change, the dengue has moved to more temperate zones.
Now, it is endemic in more than 100 countries.
Millions of doses of the anti-dengue vaccine have been shipped. Sanofi is expecting to reach 100 million doses two years from now.
Sanofi, the pharmaceutical company that distributes this first anti-dengue vaccine, has been researching and developing the vaccine for 20 years. The overall cost of the research had gone to 1.5 billion euros. But such amount is just minute compared to the profit the company could gain every year, which could start in 2018.
There are other pharmaceutical companies that are also developing dengue vaccines. However, Sanofi is definitely the leader in this game.