Dengue, known in its most severe form as dengue hemorrhagic fever, is a potentially fatal mosquito-borne infection that afflicts up to 100 million people each year. It’s become a leading cause of illness and death in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. But a new vaccine could reduce the disease’s reach.
In September, an international research team published much-awaited results of a clinical trial for the vaccine. In the study, which involved 20,875 Latin American children aged 9 to 16, the vaccine’s efficacy was 60.8 percent, and it reduced the risk of hospitalization by 80.3 percent. Those results mirrored the findings of a smaller study by the same team published in July that involved about 10,000 children in five Asian countries. In that trial, the vaccine’s efficacy rate was 56.5 percent, and it reduced cases of the severest form of dengue by 88.5 percent.