Living in Puerto Rico? What You Need to Know About the Dengue Vaccine

Healthcare provider discusses dengue vaccine with a parent and child.

Protect Your Child from Dengue

Ask your child’s healthcare provider about the safe and effective dengue vaccine.

About Dengue

  • Dengue is a disease spread by mosquitoes through bites.
  • 4 types of dengue virus

    Dengue is caused by any of four related virus types: dengue 1, 2, 3, and 4.

    • Dengue is common in Puerto Rico.
    • The risk of getting dengue while living in Puerto Rico is high.
  • You can get dengue up to four times in your life.
  • There is no specific medicine to treat dengue.
  • Dengue can be life threatening. Severe dengue requires hospitalization.

About the Dengue Vaccine

  • A dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia, can protect against future dengue illness, hospitalization, and severe disease.
  • The vaccine is safe and effective among children who have had dengue before.
  • In 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Dengvaxia for use in children 9–16 years old with laboratory evidence of a previous dengue infection and living in areas where dengue is common.

Who Is Eligible?

  • Children 9–16 years old with laboratory-confirmed previous dengue infection and living in areas where dengue occurs frequently.
    • U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa
    • Freely associated states of Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Palau, and Republic of the Marshall Islands

Testing Required Before Vaccination

Positive dengue test result
  • Your child must test positive for a previous dengue infection before being vaccinated.
  • In children who have not already had dengue before, the dengue vaccine increases the risk of severe illness and hospitalization if the child gets dengue after vaccination.
    • Therefore, to reduce the risk of vaccinating children who have never had dengue, a blood test can check for a previous dengue infection.
      • If the test result is positive, your child can be vaccinated.
      • If the test result is negative, your child won’t be able to get vaccinated.

Three Doses of Vaccine Required for Full Protection

Children need three doses of the dengue vaccine for full protection.
  • Dose 1 can be given after confirming that your child had a prior dengue infection.
  • Dose 2 is given 6 months after the first dose.
  • Dose 3 is given 6 months after the second dose.


Living in Puerto Rico? What You Need to Know About the Dengue Vaccine