UN agency authorizes second vaccine against dengue amid outbreaks in the Americas

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GENEVA: The World Health Organization on Wednesday authorized a second dengue vaccine, a move that could provide protection for millions worldwide against the mosquito-borne disease that has already sparked numerous outbreaks across the Americas this year.

In a statement on Wednesday, the UN health agency said it approved the dengue vaccine made by the Japanese pharmaceutical Takeda, recommending its use in children between six to 16 years old living in regions with high rates of dengue. The two-dose vaccine protects against the four types of dengue.

Takeda’s dengue vaccine, known as Qdenga, was previously given the nod by the European Medicines Agency in 2022.

WHO’s approval now means that donors and other UN agencies can purchase the vaccine for poorer countries.

Studies have shown Takeda’s vaccine is about 84% effective in preventing people from being hospitalized with dengue and about 61% effective in stopping symptoms.

WHO’s Rogerio Gaspar, director for the agency’s approvals of medicines and vaccines, said it was “an important step in the expansion of global access to dengue vaccines.” He noted it was the second immunization the UN agency had authorized for dengue.

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