San Juan Children Offered Dengue Vaccination

Dengvaxia offered in Puerto Rico
Dengue cases San Juan
Puerto Rico dengue cases
San Juan (Vax Before Travel)

After years of planning, a vaccine-preventable disease impact may soon be curtailed in Puerto Rico. Dengue viruses have been impacting residents for decades.

Approximately 95% of locally acquired dengue cases in the U.S. have occurred in Puerto Rico.

The U.S. CDC says dengue infection mortality ranges are less than 1% if treated appropriately but can reach 15% if untreated.

Puerto Rico's Department of Health Arboviral Disease Report indicates that 574 confirmed, 261 related hospitalizations, 73 severe cases, and two dengue deaths were reported in 2021.

Throughout the Caribbean island, there are about 280,000 children (9–16 years) who might be eligible for the U.S. FDA-approved dengue vaccine.

The Dengvaxia™ vaccine has a reported efficacy of about 80% among seropositive children against symptomatic virologically confirmed dengue.

But Dengvaxia implementation has been challenging due to the prevaccination screening requirement.

Multiple visits to healthcare providers and/or the laboratory are required to determine eligibility for Dengvaxia and start the 3-dose vaccination series.

The good news presented during the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) meeting on October 20, 2022, reported Gabriela Paz-Bailey, CDC Dengue Branch Chief, DVBD, confirmed an innovative, careful immunization plan is underway.

During phase #1, the first Dengvaxia dose was administered in San Juan on September 7, 2022.

And a three-month assessment of four Federally qualified health center providers is targeted for completion in November 2022. 

Assuming success, phase #2 would be expanded to include 17 qualifying providers by January 2023.

Then in phase #3, all providers in Puerto Rico who want to offer the Dengvaxia vaccination would be authorized.

Dengue is the most common arboviral disease.

Almost half of the world's population (4 billion) live in areas with a risk of dengue. 

Dengue viruses are spread to people through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. Moreover, a person can be infected by multiple dengue viruses.

In August 2022, there were over 2,5 million cases and 2,065 related fatalities, led by Brazil (1,910,657), Vietnam (145,536), Philippines (82,597), Indonesia (68,903), and Peru (57,469).

Most fatalities have been reported in Brazil (774) during 2022.

Most cases in the continental U.S. are associated with travel to endemic areas.

Provisional data from the CDC as of October 5, 2022, indicates U.S. states have reported about 600 travel-related dengue cases in 2022. 

Recently the state of Florida has confirmed locally-acquired dengue infections.

During the summer of 2022, Miami-Dade County reported 18 locally acquired dengue cases.

Additional dengue outbreaks and vaccine development news are posted at

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