The Health Ministry of the government of Mexico has approved the use of the world’s first vaccine against dengue fever.
According to WHO (World health Organisation), dengue, a deadliest form of the mosquito-borne disease, kills 22,000 people per year.
French pharmaceutical company Sanofi said it developed the vaccine, Dengvaxia, over the past 20 years.
Some 40,000 people will receive the treatment in Mexico in an initial phase.
The health ministry declared, “With this decision, Mexico moves ahead of all other countries, including France, to tackle the spread of this virus,”.
Dengue fever affects more than 400 million people a year across the world, mainly urban areas in tropical and sub-tropical climates. It is a leading cause of hospital admissions in most Latin American and Asian countries, says the WHO. Most of the victims are children.
The vaccine will be available only to children over the age of nine, and adults under 49 who live in areas where the disease is endemic. It is designed to prevent four types of dengue virus.
The head of Sanofi Vaccines Division, Olivier Charmeil, told the AFP News agency, “Tt’s a very important moment in the history of public health,”
The company said it spent more than $1.6bn (£1bn) developing and creating the treatment.
The symptoms of dengue fever are similar to those of a severe flu.
It is transmitted from person to person by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which also spreads chikungunya, zika fever and other diseases.
The first cases of dengue were registered in the 1950s in Thailand and the Philippines.