World’s first mass dengue vaccination programme launched in Philippines

Apr 5, 2016 12:16 IST

The Philippines on 4 April 2016 launched world’s first public immunization programme for dengue fever.  

The programme seeks to administer the world's first licensed vaccine against a mosquito-borne disease to a million school children.

The fourth-grade students at a public school in metropolitan Manila's Marikina city were given the first of three shots of Dengvaxia.

The Philippines had the highest dengue incidence in the WHO's Western Pacific region from 2013 to 2015, recording 200415 cases in 2015.

Background

The use of the first-ever vaccine, Dengvaxia, against dengue fever was approved by Mexico on 9 December 2015.

However, the Philippines on 22 December 2015 became the first Asian country to approve the sale of Dengvaxia.

About Dengue

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus.

Overall, the disease is a potential threat to almost half of the world’s population.

Of the estimated 100 million people infected annually, 500000, mostly children, develop dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), a severe form of the disease.

DHF is a leading cause of hospitalization, placing tremendous pressure on strained medical resources and having a heavy economic and societal impact.

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