On Wednesday, Mexico approved Sanofi SA's dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia. This marks the first time a Dengue vaccine has been approved for use in any country. The immunization was only approved for patients aged 9 to 45 who live in areas where dengue is endemic, so it will not be available to young children or tourists.

While the vaccine was not as effective in children, it was shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization by 80 percent and lower the possibility of developing the severest, hemorrhagic form of the disease by 93 percent. It is estimated that about 400 million people are infected annually. Over the next five years, the World Health Organization (WHO) aims to reduce dengue infections by 25 percent and dengue mortality by 50 percent of 2010 levels.

"'What we want to do is to achieve this (WHO) goal. Results show that if you vaccinate 20 percent of the population in 10 endemic countries that have taken part in our phase III studies you can potentially reduce the dengue burden by 50 percent over a five-year period,' Leroy [Guillaume Leroy, who leads the dengue team at Sanofi Pasteur] said."


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