Insight: Dengue vaccine in sight, after 70 years | ReutersPosted: June 28, 2012
Orin Levine, executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says the new vaccine is a potential breakthrough but warned its roll-out may not be straightforward.
First up, the vaccine needs to be given in three installments over the course of a year in order to counter the threat from four different types of dengue virus, none of which confers immunity for the others.
“There are going to be some challenges,” says Levine. “There’s really good economic potential from this vaccine but I think it may take a ramp-up of three to five years.”
In an ideal world, healthcare experts would like a single-dose or, at most, a two-dose vaccine for mass immunization.
A simpler regimen would also be better for travelers, although Pascal Barollier of Sanofi Pasteur, Sanofi’s vaccine arm, says many users will be people making regular trips to see families in Latin America or Asia with time to plan ahead. The military, too, often has lead time for troop movements.
In any case, Sanofi is putting its money where its mouth is by spending 350 million euros on a new dengue vaccine factory near Lyon, which is already in test production.