FDA Approves First Dengue Vaccine in the US

The FDA has approved Dengvaxia, the first vaccine approved in the US for the prevention of dengue disease caused by all 4 serotypes of dengue virus in patients aged 9 through 16 years with laboratory-confirmed previous dengue infection.

The vaccine is already approved in 19 other countries and in the European Union.

Dengue Vaccine Only Effective In Some Children
Dengue Vaccine Effective Against All 4 Serotypes

The live, attenuated vaccine is administered as 3 injections given at 6-month intervals.

The safety and efficacy of Dengvaxia were examined in 3 randomized, placebo-controlled studies involving approximately 35,000 individuals in dengue-endemic areas. Overall, the researchers found that the vaccine was approximately 76% effective in preventing dengue disease.

The most common side effects reported with Dengvaxia were headache, muscle pain, joint pain, fatigue, injection site pain, and low-grade fever.

The vaccine is not approved for individuals without previous infection with dengue virus, as in these individuals, the vaccine “appears to act like a first dengue infection— without actually infecting the person with wild-type dengue virus–such that a subsequent infection can result in severe dengue disease.”

—Michael Potts


First FDA-approved vaccine for the prevention of dengue disease in endemic regions [press release]. May 1, 2019.