Global demand for dengue vaccines was worth USD 215 million in 2016. Asia and Latin America account for the highest demand for dengue, owing to high incidence of dengue infections in these regions. According to Break Dengue, the total annual estimated cost of dengue is USD 8 billion per year. Undetected and untreated dengue infections are a major burden for governments around the globe. Access to affordable dengue vaccination remains a key strategy for preventing major outbreak of dengue.
Access to dengue vaccines is influenced by a host of factors, including development of live attenuated vaccines and localised production of vaccines. Live vaccines stimulate cellular and hormonal responses. Further, live attenuated vaccines are cost-effective, making them an effective treatment option in resource-poor countries.
There is a large unmet need for dengue vaccines in developing countries. Governments in these countries are supporting initiatives to make dengue vaccination a part of holistic healthcare. This is expected to create increased demand for dengue vaccination in the future. However, supply-side infrastructural bottlenecks and lack of accurate diagnosis can pose challenges to pervasive adoption of dengue vaccines.
In Sri Lanka, where there has been a dengue epidemic this year, with the Epidemiology Unit recording over 37,000 cases. Sri Lanka can do with adopting, what is called the world’s first dengue vaccine Dengvaxia, which has been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO). However, the vaccine is yet to receive approval in Sri Lanka, which has infuriated many healthcare experts globally.
The vaccine has been sent for review to the National Medicines Regulatory Authority in Sri Lanka, and it is reported that the review committee will obtain post-marketing surveillance data from those countries where the vaccine is currently in use.
Although the vaccine is said to be highly effective, experts warn that people should still pay utmost attention to preventive measures, as there can be cases where the vaccine does not offer full protection. Further, the vaccine is recommended for children over the age of 9, which is a point of concern, as this age group is in the high-risk category of contracting the dengue vaccine.
In Latin America, demand for veterinary vaccines is the highest in Brazil. A slew of favourable government policies, combined with relatively higher prevalence have boosted the adoption of vaccination in healthcare institutes. In Asia, India continues to be the leading market, accounting for over 50% revenue share.