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WHO authorises second vaccine against dengue amid outbreaks in Americas

WHO authorises second vaccine against dengue amid outbreaks in Americas
15 May 2024 15:23

GENEVA (WAM)

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday authorised a second dengue vaccine, Associated Press reported.

This move could provide protection for millions worldwide against the mosquito-borne disease that has already sparked numerous outbreaks across the Americas in 2024.

The United Nations health agency issued a statement  in which it declared that it approved the dengue vaccine made by the Japanese pharmaceutical Takeda, recommending its use in children between six and 16 years old living in regions with high rates of dengue.

The statement noted that the two-dose vaccine protects against the four types of dengue.

Qdenga, Takeda’s dengue vaccine, has previously been given the nod by the European Medicines Agency in 2022.

The WHO's approval now means that donors and other U.N. agencies can purchase the vaccine for poorer countries.

Notably, studies have shown Takeda’s vaccine is about 84 percent effective in preventing people from being hospitalised with dengue and about 61 percent effective in stopping symptoms.

The Director for the agency’s approvals of medicines and vaccines, Rogerio Gaspar said it was “an important step in the expansion of global access to dengue vaccines."

Additionally, he noted it was the second immunisation the UN agency had authorised for dengue.

Last week, the WHO reported there were 6.7 million suspected cases of dengue in the Americas, an increase of 206 percent compared with the same period last year.

In March, authorities in Rio de Janeiro declared a public health emergency over its dengue epidemic and the country began rolling out the Takeda vaccine, aiming to inoculate at least three million people.

In 2023, the WHO said cases of dengue have spiked tenfold over the last generation, with climate change and the increasing range of the mosquitoes that carry dengue partly to blame for the disease’s spread.

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