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First Dengue Vaccine Approved in Mexico

Update Date: Dec 11, 2015 09:09 AM EST

The health ministry announced that the first vaccine for dengue fever has been approved in Mexico. Dengue is one of the deadliest form of mosquito-borne disease that kills more than 22,000 people every year as per WHO. French pharmaceutical company, Sanofi, developed a vaccine called Dengvaxia in the last 20 years. In its initial phase, 40,000 people are expected to undergo the treatment. "With this decision, Mexico moves ahead of all other countries, including France, to tackle the spread of this virus," said the health ministry in a statement, as reported by BBC News. Dengue affects more than 400 million across the globe every year and most importantly the urban areas in tropical and sub-tropical climates. Most victims that lead to hospitalizations are children. This vaccine will only be available to children over 9 and adults under 49 who reside in the area where the disease is widespread.

"It's a very important moment in the history of public health," the head of Sanofi Vaccines Division, Olivier Charmeil, told the AFP new agency. The company revealed that more than $1.6Bn have been spent by the company in development of this treatment. Dengue is one of the fastest growing mosquito-borne diseases that kills at least 22,000 people every year, according to WHO.

"The bumpy road to a vaccine-based solution for dengue continues," Cameron P. Simmons of the University of Melbourne in Australia, wrote in a commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine in September. However, Sanofi and other experts in this field said that the effectiveness of their vaccination is a welcome treatment where is no treatment at all for dengue. In a trial vaccination involving 9-16 children in Caribbean and Latin America, the vaccine mitigated the hospitalization risk from dengue by 80%, reports New York Times

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