This press release was originally posted by the Dengue Vaccine Initiative.

The Dengue Vaccine Initiative (DVI*) holds the Americas Dengue Prevention Board two-day meeting in the Colombian National Health Institute (Instituto Nacional de Salud de Colombia- INS), bringing together dengue specialists, representatives of ministries of health, pharmaceutical companies, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Health Organization (WHO), among other public health experts and stakeholders. The conference focuses on the status of dengue vaccines and considerations and challenges regarding the introduction of dengue vaccines in countries in the region. Its outcome is a report with Board recommendations on these topics, made publically available to help inform decision-makers. Today dengue risks the lives of 390 million people worldwide, according to a recent study. It is the most common mosquito-borne viral disease, in Latin America alone amounting to an annual cost of 2 billion dollars.

The Board convenes at a critical time -- 2014 marked a milestone for the fight against dengue fever, with the first ever successful completion of two Phase III clinical trials on a dengue vaccine candidate (CYD-TDV). The second of these studies involved more than 20,000 children from Latin America, specifically: Brazil, Colombia, Honduras, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. These trials demonstrated that a vaccine that can prevent dengue cases is feasible, showing both safety and overall moderate efficacy of up to 60%. Their contribution to the dengue vaccine field, along with that of other dengue vaccine candidates currently in the pipeline and mathematical modeling measuring the public health impact of dengue vaccines, require revisiting strategies and approaches to control dengue and reach WHO’s goals of reducing dengue morbidity by 25% and mortality by 50% by 2020.

“I’m sure that the recommendations resulting from this meeting will have a great impact in the consideration of dengue prevention tools,” said Professor Annelies Wilder-Smith, DVI Senior Advisor. Dengue Prevention Board meetings promote open exchange, providing a space to share inter-sectorial and interdisciplinary perspectives of the potential use of dengue vaccines, together with international and regional experiences, to plan ahead in an integral way and mobilize resources effectively to control this disease.  

“As a center for research and public health surveillance, being part of this meeting is crucial to learn about dengue vaccine developments in order to count with scientific and technical information that help inform and support decision-makers focusing on vaccine access and vaccines’ impact in the prevention and control of dengue,” said Doctor Mauricio Beltrán, Director of INS Public Health Network (Redes en Salud Pública del INS).

*DVI is a consortium formed by the International Vaccine Institute based in Seoul, the WHO based in Geneva, the Sabin Vaccine Institute based in Washington DC, and the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore.

For this release in Spanish please visit the INS website.

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