Dengvaxia Controversy: Impact on Vaccine Hesitancy

Khunsha Fatima, Najah Irfan Syed

… The quest for a suitable vaccine for dengue has been ongoing for the last six decades. In one such effort, Sanofi, one of the biggest multinational pharmaceutical companies, developed the world’s first dengue vaccine – Dengvaxia. The vaccine is now approved in 19 countries and was used in vaccination campaigns in Philippines, involving more than 800 000 school children.

Soon after its authorization, Dengvaxia has now become a subject to controversy following Sanofi’s recent analysis which suggests that the vaccine may put some people at an increased risk of a more severe form of dengue. Dengvaxia was found to reduce the overall risk of severe dengue and hospitalizations due to this disease. This protection, however, was more apparent in those who had a prior history of dengue infection. Sanofi recently discovered that individuals who have never had a dengue infection before pose a significantly higher risk of a more severe form of the disease and hospitalizations with Dengvaxia than if they had not been vaccinated against dengue at all

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