Health May 16, 2024 - 8:43 am

WHO greenlights Japanese vaccine for Dengue prevention

The World Health Organization (WHO) has validated a new vaccine against dengue, known as Japanese TAK-003, amid a significant surge in cases and fatalities from the epidemic spreading across Latin America.

Developed by the Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda, the vaccine contains weakened versions of the four serotypes of the dengue virus transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

This marks the WHO’s endorsement of the second dengue vaccine, alongside the CYD-TDV vaccine from French pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur.

“We hope that more developers of dengue vaccines will step forward for evaluation, ensuring broader access for all communities in need,” stated Rogerio Gaspar, WHO Director of Regulation and Validation.

The new vaccine, requiring two doses administered three months apart, targets children aged 6 to 16 in high-risk areas with intense disease transmission.

Latin American countries, particularly Brazil, are grappling with their worst dengue outbreaks on record, surpassing 2,000 deaths this year. Argentina has reported 119 confirmed dengue fatalities, with 269,678 recorded cases as of April 14, according to the Argentine Ministry of Health.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) predicted a significant rise in dengue cases across the American continent in 2024, largely driven by global temperature increases and extreme weather events.

WHO has cautioned that dengue cases and fatalities are expected to rise further and spread geographically throughout the region.

Annually, dengue affects between 100 to 400 million people worldwide, with 3,800 million residing in endemic countries, primarily in Asia, Africa, and the Americas.

Source: EFE

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