A half-million doses of Dengvaxia, the dengue fever vaccine from Sanofi Pasteur, have been received in Paraná to support a large-scale public dengue immunization program initiated today in the State’s 30 most highly endemic municipalities.
Paraná State, home to 10 million people, has seen a steep 3-fold increase in both dengue incidence and deaths in recent years. In the last year, there have been 55,000 cases reported, costing the State an estimated R$ 330 million (~91 M Euro) in related healthcare expenses.
“For the public immunization program being launched today, we have used our extensive dengue surveillance data to ensure that we are targeting people at highest risk of disease. We will vaccinate all individuals 15-27 years of age in 28 municipalities and 9-44 years of age in the two municipalities with the top dengue burden in our State over the next three weeks,” said Michele Caputo Neto, Paraná Health Secretary.
“Paraná has a good track record in vaccination coverage in general and successful implementation of this dengue immunization strategy could result in 74% reduction in disease burden in these highly impacted municipalities within 5 years, according to a dengue vaccine impact study published in the Brazilian Journal of Health Economics,” Secretary Neto noted.
Dr. Stephen J. Thomas, a physician-scientist at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland who is an international dengue expert commented on the public immunization program initiated by Paraná State today. “Dengue remains one of the world’s most important mosquito transmitted diseases causing significant human suffering and financial cost. The strategic deployment of a safe and effective dengue vaccine offers the best hope of reducing dengue’s burden, especially in highly endemic countries like Brazil.”
Dengvaxia‘s safety and efficacy have been documented in a large clinical study program involving more than 40,000 people in studies conducted in 15 countries around the world including Brazil which participated in both phases II and III of the clinical development of the vaccine. The safety, efficacy and public health value of the dengue vaccine has been independently endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in position paper on Dengvaxia published on 29th July 2016, which is consistent with the earlier positive recommendation on the dengue vaccine issued by the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization last April.
Guillaume Leroy, of Sanofi Pasteur, added “Introduction of the dengue vaccine first in endemic countries like Brazil has always been Sanofi Pasteur’s priority because this is where the vaccine can have the greatest impact on disease burden globally. Furthermore, successful implementation of Dengvaxia in a large-scale public program in Paraná will serve as a benchmark for dengue prevention efforts elsewhere in the country and in the world.”
In addition to Brazil, Sanofi Pasteur Dengue Vaccine is also registered in Mexico, Philippines, El Salvador and Costa Rica to date.