- by Gary Finnegan

Dengue vaccine launch in Mexico

Image of dengue patrol. prevention gets a boost with the dengue vaccine launch in Mexico.

Dengue prevention gets a boost as the dengue vaccine becomes available in Mexico.

The dengue vaccine launch in Mexico could be the missing link to successfully combating the dengue virus in the country home to over 122 million people. Doctors in Mexico’s private clinics are offering vaccination against dengue fever. The country is among nine other countries to approve the dengue vaccine. The vaccine’s most recent registrations come from Paraguay, Peru, Indonesia and Guatemala.

The vaccine has been recommended by a WHO expert group for people living in areas with a high burden of dengue fever, prompting national experts in several Latin American and Asia countries to consider its introduction for people aged 9 to 45. In Mexico, 90% of dengue cases in Mexico are in people aged nine years and older.

The Brazilian state of Parána has introduced an active public vaccination campaign in recent weeks, private clinics in El Salvador are now offering the jab, and Paraguay has also recently approved the vaccine for use.

In Mexico, a public vaccination program may be in the offing as the national vaccination council – CONAVA – has recommended introducing the vaccine in endemic areas. Data from 2013 show that 231,400 suspected dengue cases were reported. This led to 34,100 reported hospitalizations at an average cost of $ $1,327 (USD) each.

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Doctors in Mexico have welcomed the advent of the dengue vaccination era in their country. “Dengue is a major public health risk in parts of Mexico with no specific treatment available to healthcare professionals to manage outcomes with this disease,” says Dr. José Ramos Castañeda, Professor of Virology and Researcher at the Center for Population Health Research of the National Institute of Public Health (INSP).

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He said the disease remains a serious threat to public health in the central American nation.  “The Mexican medical community welcomes the ability to vaccinate people against dengue with the first clinical preventive tool for this often debilitating disease which continues to be a growing health issue in our country,” he said.