FDA approves the first vaccine for dengue virus

U.S. authorities have approved a controversial vaccine that prevents dengue, but it comes with important restrictions.

    2019/05/06

NSFW    WHITE OAK, MARYLAND — U.S. authorities have approved a controversial vaccine that prevents dengue, but it comes with important restrictions, reports Stat News.

Dengue is a viral disease carried by female mosquitoes of the species Aedes aegypti, which can also carry diseases such as chikungunya, yellow fever, and Zika. According to the World Health Organization, roughly half of the world is at risk of contracting dengue, for which there is no specific treatment.

According to Stat News, last Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration authorized the distribution of Dengvaxia, a vaccine manufactured by French pharmaceutical company, Sanofi Pasteur.

The decision has sparked controversy since the vaccine was pulled from the Philippines in 2017 due to safety issues. However, the FDA has announced clear restrictions for its use in the US.

Stat News reports that it can only be used in patients ages 9 through 16 that have already had one previous dengue infection, and are living in areas of the US where the virus is endemic. The virus is only present in Puerto Rico and other offshore regions in the US.

The European Commission approved the use of Dengvaxia in dengue-endemic regions late last year. In Europe, the vaccine can only be applied to patients ages 9 to 45 who have had the disease at least once before. Dengvaxia is also available in 10 countries in Asia and Latin America.
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