A dengue fever vaccine developed by the French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi has been approved for use by Mexico, the first approval in the world for any vaccine for the disease, which afflicts tens of millions of people around the world and is becoming an increasing threat.
Sanofi said in a news release Wednesday that the vaccine, which it is calling Dengvaxia, was approved by Mexico’s Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risk for prevention of dengue in people 9 to 45 years old living in endemic areas.
“We are making dengue the next vaccine-preventable disease,” Olivier Charmeil, executive vice president for vaccines at Sanofi, said in an interview.
But it is still uncertain how widely the vaccine will be deployed, both in Mexico and other countries, because of limits to its effectiveness and national budgets.
Also known as breakbone fever, dengue can cause high temperature and intense joint and muscle pain. In severe cases, it causes hemorrhagic fever, which is marked by bleeding and shock and can be fatal.
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