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Brazil starts Nationwide Vaccination Campaign after a Surge in Dengue Virus Cases


In response to a sharp increase in cases nationwide at the beginning of 2024, Brazil has become the first country to introduce a national dengue vaccine.

In response to the escalating spread of mosquito-borne dengue illness, Brazil has implemented emergency measures. Reuters reports that Brazil has acquired 5.2 million doses of the dengue vaccine, Qdenga, developed by Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda. Additionally, the government will distribute 1.32 million doses free of charge. Vaccinations for children aged 10–14 began on February 9. The surge in dengue fever cases in Brazil is attributed to a hot and rainy season, with the Health Ministry reporting 364,855 cases in the first five weeks of 2024, quadrupling the number reported during the same period in 2023. Army troops have been mobilized to assist in identifying breeding sites of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, responsible for transmitting the dengue virus. Public health emergencies have been declared in Acre, Minas Gerais, Goiás, and the Federal District.

The number of reported dengue cases in Brasilia, located in the Federal District, has surpassed the total reported for the entire year of 2023. The infection rate stands at 1,625 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, far exceeding the national average of 170 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. During his visit to Brasilia, Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), attributed the dengue outbreak to the El Niño phenomenon, which brought increased rainfall to Brazil. Speaking at a ministry event, Dr. Tedros highlighted that the current dengue outbreak is part of a global surge in dengue fever cases, with over 500 million cases and more than 5,000 deaths reported worldwide last year from 80 countries across all regions except Europe.

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