Brazilian city begins first mass vaccination against dengue
The city of Dourados in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul began the country's first mass vaccination against dengue. The initiative aims to vaccinate around 150,000 residents between the ages of 4 and 59 using the recently approved drugmaker Takeda's (4502.T) vaccine QDENGA.
Distribution started on Wednesday of the first batch of 90,000 doses already delivered by the Japanese laboratory as part of an agreement with the city. The vaccination schedule requires a second dose in three months.
The dengue infection, transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, causes a disease that can be mild or have more serious forms, occasionally leading to death. Symptoms include muscle weakness, drowsiness, refusal of food and liquids, vomiting, and diarrhea.
By the end of the first week of December, Brazil had registered 1.6 million cases of dengue in 2023, an increase of 15.8% over the same period last year, according to data from the health ministry. The number of deaths caused by the infection grew 5.4% in the period to 1,053.
Last month, the country's health ministry announced it would include Takeda's shot in the national vaccination program of its public health system, known by its local acronym 'SUS'.
The vaccine will not initially be used in large-scale nationwide, given its limited supply, instead, it will focus on priority groups and regions.
The country expects to receive another 5.08 million doses of the vaccine between February and November.
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