PH approves first anti-dengue vaccine in Asia

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Philippines approved the first anti-dengue vaccine in Asia, according to an announcement by a French pharmaceutical company on Monday (December 22, 2015).

In a statement, Sanofi Pasteur, said that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Dengvaxia for the prevention of disease caused by all four dengue types in individuals from 9 to 45 years old.

“Approval of the first dengue vaccine in Asia, which bears 70% of global disease burden, is a major milestone in dengue prevention and public health,” according to the company's president, Olivier Charmeil.

The statement added that dengue in Asian countries continued to be the highest globally, with an estimated 67 million people contracting the disease annually.

Dr. May Book Montellano, president of the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination said vaccination remained widely-accepted as one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce the spread of infectious diseases like dengue.

“Prevention of dengue is an urgent and growing medical priority in the Philippines,” Montellano said.

The statement cited figures from the World Health Organization (WHO), which showed that dengue was the fastest growing mosquito-borne disease in the world, causing nearly 400 million infections every year.

It said that in the last 50 years, dengue had spread to 128 countries.

Besides the Philippines, the statement added that the vaccine had also been registered in Mexico.