50 years in the fight against infectious diseases 1967 – 2017

World’s first dengue vaccine authorized for use in 3 endemic countries

January 19, 2016, Lyon (France)


A long awaited tool for dengue prevention and control has finally become available in three endemic countries. During the month of December, health authorities in Mexico, the Philippines and Brazil granted marketing authorization for the first dengue vaccine.

The Partnership for Dengue Control (PDC), hosted by Fondation Mérieux, considers a dengue vaccine to be an essential part of the integrated approach needed to lower the burden of dengue fever globally, which the WHO estimates at nearly 400 million infections each year.1

The Sanofi Pasteur tetravalent dengue vaccine is intended for the prevention of the disease caused by all four dengue virus serotypes in individuals aged 9 to 45 living in endemic areas. Sanofi Pasteur licensed the Dengvaxia® vaccine after 20 years of research and development. Their clinical development program involved over 40,000 people of different ages, who lived in diverse geographic and epidemiological settings in 15 countries.

In 2015, over 1.4 million Brazilian citizens were reportedly ill with dengue virus.2 The Philippines has an estimated annual average of 842,867 clinically diagnosed dengue cases and researchers in Mexico report an annual average of about 139,000 cases3, 4. Introducing the new vaccine in these high-risk populations, along with other disease prevention approaches, has the potential to lower virus transmission risk.

PDC encourages adopter countries to implement vaccination programs with strong and careful evaluation of the impact of immunization on disease incidence and the safety of the vaccine under specific and controlled conditions for monitoring the long term benefit/risk ratio.

Such a complex public health challenge requires combinations of interventions. PDC believes that vaccines will need to be integrated with vector control to maximize their public health impact. Along with vaccines, PDC partners are looking forward to other tools and approaches becoming available in the next five years, such as:

  • new insecticides and other mosquito control innovations
  • diagnostic tools and improved surveillance methods
  • antiviral drugs to treat dengue
  • improved clinical management strategies

PDC will continue to monitor the rapidly changing dengue prevention landscape. Dengue vaccines from other research institutions and companies are also in the pipeline, as are new paradigms for vector control.5 The new tools that are expected to come to the market in the near future will enhance the available portfolio for dengue prevention.

  1. WHO Dengue and severe dengue fact sheet #117
  2. Secretaria de Vigilância em Saúde − Ministério da Saúde. Epidemiological Bulletin – Volume 46 – No. 24-2015 – Monitoring of cases of dengue fever and chikungunya. Epidemiological Week 36, 2015.
  3. Frances E. Edillo, Yara A. Halasa, Francisco M. Largo, Jonathan Neil V. Erasmo, Naomi B. Amoin, Maria Theresa P. Alera, In-Kyu Yoon, Arturo C. Alcantara, and Donald S. Shepard. Economic Cost and Burden of Dengue in the Philippines. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2015 Feb 4; 92(2): 360–366
  4. Undurraga EA, Betancourt-Cravioto M, Ramos-Castañeda J, Martínez-Vega R, Méndez-Galván J, Gubler DJ, Guzmán MG, Halstead SB, Harris E, Kuri-Morales P, Tapia-Conyer R, Shepard DS. Economic and disease burden of dengue in Mexico. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 2015 Mar 18;9(3):e0003547.
  5. Achee, N.L., F. Gould, T.A. Perkins, R.C. Reiner, Jr., A.C. Morrison, S.A. Ritchie, D.J. Gubler, R. Teyssou, and T.W. Scott. 2015. A Critical Assessment of Vector Control for Dengue Prevention. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 9: e0003655.