WHO approves second dengue vaccine

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced it is testing a new dengue vaccine, Japan’s TAK-003, at a time of marked increases in cases and deaths as the disease spreads across Latin America.

WHO approves new vaccine against dengue fever, which is increasingly threatening Latin AmericaWHO approves new vaccine against dengue fever, which is increasingly threatening Latin America

Larvae of the mosquito that causes dengue disease. Environmental Protection Agency / Ahmad Yousni

With this decision, WHO gives the green light to a second dengue vaccine.

The vaccine, produced by Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda, contains weakened versions of four serotypes of the virus that causes dengue, which is transmitted through the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

It is the second WHO-backed dengue vaccine, joining the CYD-TDV vaccine developed by French pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur.

“We hope more dengue vaccine developers will come forward for evaluation so we can ensure they reach all the communities that need them,” said WHO Director of Regulatory and Validation Rogerio Gaspar.

This new vaccine requires two doses, given three months apart, to children aged 6 to 16 years from areas with high disease burden and transmission rates.

Several Latin American countries are suffering the worst dengue outbreaks in their history, such as Brazil, which has already surpassed a record 2,000 dengue deaths this year.

According to the Argentine Ministry of Health as of April 14, the situation is also alarming in Argentina, with a total of 119 deaths due to dengue fever and 269,678 cases reported.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said last year that the Americas would see a significant increase in dengue cases in 2024, a situation driven mainly by rising global temperatures and extreme weather events.

The WHO has warned that the number of dengue cases and deaths is likely to continue to rise and spread geographically across the region.

Between 100 and 400 million cases of dengue are reported worldwide each year, and 3.8 billion people live in countries where the disease is endemic, most of which are in Asia, Africa and the Americas.


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