WHO Prequalifies Second Dengue Vaccine, Expanding Global Access



By: Modupe Adeniyi. Freelance Health Reporter.




FRIDAY, MAY 17, 2024. The World Health Organization (WHO) has taken a significant step in ensuring worldwide access to dengue vaccines by prequalifying TAK-003, the second dengue vaccine to receive this recognition. Developed by Takeda, TAK-003 is a live-attenuated vaccine containing weakened versions of the four serotypes of the virus that cause dengue.


WHO recommends the use of TAK-003 in children aged 6–16 years in places with high dengue burden. The vaccine should be administered in a 2-dose schedule with a 3-month interval between doses.


In a statement, Dr. Rogerio Gaspar, WHO Director for Regulation and Prequalification, emphasized the importance of this prequalification, "The prequalification of TAK-003 is an important step in the expansion of global access to dengue vaccines as it is now eligible for procurement by UN agencies including UNICEF and PAHO."


He further added, "With only two dengue vaccines to date prequalified, we look forward to more vaccine developers coming forward for assessment so that we can ensure vaccines reach all communities who need it."


Dengue, a vector-borne disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes poses a significant global health threat.


Severe dengue, a potentially lethal complication can develop from dengue infections. The WHO Region of the Americas reported a staggering 4.5 million cases and 2,300 deaths in 2023 alone, thus being the largest number of recorded dengue cases.


With an estimated 3.8 billion people living in dengue endemic countries, primarily in Asia, Africa and the America's and over 100-400 million cases occurring worldwide each year, the need for accessible and effective dengue vaccines is paramount. Climate change and urbanization are expected to further increase and expand the geographical range of dengue cases.


The prequalification of TAK-003 represents a crucial step towards addressing this global health challenge, as it now joins CYD-TDV, the only other prequalified dengue vaccine developed by Sanofi Pasteur in the WHO prequalification list, making it eligible for procurement by UN agencies.


Source: World Health Organization Newsroom.




Published: May 17, 2024

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