Lonely Planet Writer

Philippines launches world’s first dengue vaccine

A launch of the world’s first vaccine to protect against the mosquito-borne dengue virus was hosted by the Philippines on Thursday, after more than 20 years of development and trials in Asia and Latin America.

Dengue vaccine launches in the Philippines.
Dengue vaccine launches in the Philippines. Image by Marlon E / CC BY-SA 2.0

The number of dengue cases in the Philippines rose from around 120,000 in 2014 to more than 200,000 last year. With the roll out of the new vaccine, called Dengvaxia, health authorities expect a 24% reduction in dengue cases in the country over the next five years. Fever, headaches and muscle pain are among the side effects of Dengvaxia, which will initially be given to Grade Four students in the Manila area and in central and southern Luzon. According to the World Health Organization, there has been a dramatic increase in the incidence of dengue worldwide in recent decades – the virus is endemic in more than 100 countries, with the Americas, Southeast Asia and the western Pacific regions most seriously affected.

Read more: cnnphilippines.com