Here’s how to get the dengue vaccine in Argentina

As the country experiences the worst outbreak of the tropical fever in 20 years, here’s what to know about getting protected

Argentina is going through its worst dengue outbreak in 20 years. In 2024 alone, over 100,000 cases have been registered and 69 people have died. 

Fortunately, you can now get vaccinated against the mosquito-borne disease — but how?

The Qdenga vaccine was approved by ANMAT, Argentina’s food and medicine safety institution, in April, and has been available nationwide since November.

Qdenga is a live-attenuated viral vaccine that provides protection against the four different types of dengue. This means the shots contain the virus in an attenuated form, so patients can develop antibodies against the disease.

It consists of two doses that should be applied three months apart. Antibodies start developing two to three weeks after the first shot. 

“Only one dose is not enough to guarantee proper protection,” noted infectious disease specialist Florencia Cahn, deputy director of Huésped Medical Center.

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In Argentina, this vaccine can be administered to individuals over the age of four, with no upper age limit, regardless of whether they have had dengue before.

However, it is not recommended for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding or immunocompromised.

As with similar vaccines, people can still catch dengue after receiving the shots, but their symptoms will be lighter. “When we vaccinate, we don’t just want to prevent the disease,” Cahn said. “Most of all, we want to prevent serious cases of the disease, hospitalizations and deaths.”

Qdenga has an overall efficacy of 70% at preventing serious cases of dengue. Clinical studies show high protection against dengue hospitalizations (80.3%), severe dengue (91.7%) and dengue hemorrhagic fever (90%).

How much does the dengue vaccine cost?

For now, the vaccine has not been added to Argentina’s mandatory immunization schedule, which would make it free and widely accessible. It can be bought in pharmacies and private vaccination centers.

Each dose costs around AR$70,000 (US$80 at the official rate or US$67 at the MEP rate). Some health insurers cover up to 40% of the cost if you have a prescription, so check with your provider.

In Misiones and Salta provinces, you can get the shot for free: the provincial governments are applying them without charge because they are seeing so many dengue cases.

After getting the vaccine, patients may experience aches or discomfort at the injection site, and may develop flu-like symptoms within a week. These effects are temporary and mild, according to Cahn.

“This is the worst outbreak in 20 years,” she said. “The cases and death numbers are very alarming.” 

She recommended that people continue to take preventive measures even after getting the shots, including using mosquito repellent and emptying containers that may contain stagnant water.

Dengue symptoms include fever, headaches, muscular or abdominal pain, and low mood. If you feel intense and continuous abdominal pain, dizziness, fainting, persistent vomiting, drowsiness, gum bleeding and irritability, get medical attention as soon as possible. These are signs of grave dengue.

Dengue is a viral disease transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that have fed on infected blood. This type of mosquitoes can be recognized by their striped black and white legs. It can also carry other diseases, such as yellow fever, chikungunya and zika.


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