Sri Lanka has reported over 37,000 cases of dengue since January, causing many fatalities and leading to one of the country’s largest public health crises. However, the country is yet to approve the use of the world’s first dengue vaccine ‒ Dengvaxia ‒ developed by French multinational pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis.

Dengvaxia was the first dengue vaccine to be approved and endorsed by the World Health Organization, and has been adopted by a number of developing countries including Mexico, Brazil, El Salvador, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela and Argentina in Latin America; and the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, and Malaysia in Asia.

Reports indicate that the vaccine will not be approved in Sri Lanka until at least next year due to delays on the part of the authorities concerned.