Jakarta. Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of the pharmaceutical giant Sanofi, says it has found a dengue fever vaccine that may be available in Indonesia as early as next year.
Sanofi Pasteur Indonesia general manager Joko Murdianto said that it only took the approval of Indonesia's Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) for the vaccine to be made available for people here.
“We hope that the vaccine will be available in early 2016,” Joko said on Thursday. "We’re waiting for BPOM approval."
Most countries in Latin America have asked for the vaccines to be distributed this year and Sanofi will begin marketing the vaccine in some Asian countries from October.
“The vaccines are supplied from our office in France. We can produce up to 100 million doses of vaccine every year," Joko said. "We will begin distribution once the country that has asked for the vaccine gives its approval [to administer the vaccine to its people].”
According to the World Health Organization, the worldwide incidence of dengue has grown dramatically in recent decades.
"One recent estimate indicates 390 million dengue infections per year ... of which 96 million ... manifest clinically (with any severity of disease)," the WHO says.
Sanofi says it hopes to be able to support the WHO’s ambition to reduce dengue mortality by 50 percent and morbidity by 25 percent by 2020.
The disease is spread through the bite of the female Aedes mosquito, which becomes infected when it takes the blood of a person carrying the virus. The mosquito can then transmit the virus by biting a healthy person.