Sanofi’s vaccine could help prevent dengue fever in European territories.

Dengue fever is becoming an increasingly common disease, according to the World Health Organization, which estimates that half of the world's population living in 128 countries, particularly those with tropical and sub-tropical climates, are at risk of being infected with a dengue virus. The disease, for which there is currently no cure, can be debilitating. It usually causes prolonged fever and severe joint pain and can in some cases lead to dengue hemorrhagic fever, which is life-threatening.

There are four different dengue viruses, and it is possible for a person to get the disease more than once by being infected with these different serotypes. Secondary infections are often worse than primary ones.

Residents in European countries and territories may soon have access to Sanofi’s Dengvaxia vaccine to prevent second dengue virus infections. The European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has adopted a positive opinion for Sanofi's dengue vaccine, recommending its approval in Europe.

The vaccine is indicated for the prevention of infection by dengue virus serotypes 1, 2, 3 and 4 in individuals 9 to 45 years of age with prior dengue virus infection and living in endemic areas, particularly European territories located in tropical and sub-tropical climates. An approval decision by the European Commission is expected by the end of 2018. Dengvaxia has already been licensed in 20 countries for the prevention of dengue.