The Philippines has approved the sale of the world’s first anti-dengue vaccine, Sanofi Pasteur, the developer of the drug, said on Wednesday.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the vaccine, Dengvaxia, after three clinical trials, making it the first dengue vaccine in Asia.
Dengvaxia will be used to prevent all four dengue serotypes. It can be used for those aged 9 to 45.
“Approval of the first dengue vaccine in Asia, which bears 70 percent of global disease burden, is a major milestone in dengue prevention and public health,” Olivier Charmeil, President and CEO of Sanofi Pasteur, said in a statement.
Dengvaxia is the culmination of more than two decades of research and clinical studies conducted in 15 different countries.
The vaccine was approved in Mexico on December 9 this year.
Other countries where dengue is also prevalent are still reviewing regulatory processes for the vaccine.
Health Secretary Janette Garin expressed confidence that with the use of the vaccine, dengue cases will significantly decrease.
Dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever are caused by any of the four serotypes of dengue virus (Types 1, 2, 3, and 4) transmitted when bitten by the female Aedes mosquito.
Common symptoms of dengue include fever which may last from two to seven days, joint and muscle pain, pain behind the eyes, skin rashes, nose bleeding, and abdominal pain.
More than 100,000 cases are recorded in the Philippines yearly.
From January 1 to October 31 this year, 142,227 dengue cases were reported, up by almost 50 percent from the same period last year.