Dengue Vaccine: What You Need to Know

Doctor putting bandage on girls arm after vaccine.

Planning a Trip? Do Your Homework Before Traveling
  • The dengue vaccine is not approved for use in U.S. travelers who are visiting but not living in an area where dengue is common.
  • Pack a travel health kit. Remember insect repellent and use it to prevent mosquito bites.
  • Learn about destination-specific health risks and recommendations by visiting CDC Travelers’ Health website.
  • See a healthcare provider familiar with travel medicine, ideally 4-6 weeks before your trip. Go to the Find a Clinic webpage for help in finding a travel medicine clinic near you.

After your trip

  • Visit your healthcare provider right away if you develop a fever, headache, rash, muscle or joint pain.
  • Tell your healthcare provider about recent travel.

Dengue viruses are spread to people through the bites of an infected Aedes species Ae. aegypti or Ae. albopictus) mosquitoes. For people who get sick with dengue, symptoms can be mild or severe. The most common symptom of dengue is fever with any of the following: nausea, vomiting, rash, aches and pains.

A safe and effective dengue vaccine is available to prevent dengue caused by the four dengue viruses. Three doses, given 6 months apart, are needed for full protection.

Who Can Get a Dengue Vaccine?

CDC recommends the dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia, for use in children and adolescents 9–16 years old with laboratory-confirmed evidence of a previous dengue virus infection and living in areas of the United States where dengue is common. Dengue is common in the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and freely associated states, including the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.

Testing Before Vaccination

Only children with laboratory-confirmed evidence of previous dengue infection can be vaccinated. Testing before vaccination will confirm if the child has had a previous dengue infection.

  • If test results are positive, the child can be vaccinated.
  • If test results are negative, the child cannot be vaccinated at the time.

Contact your child’s healthcare provider to learn more about the vaccine.

Who Should Not Get a Dengue Vaccine?

  • Children under 9 years of age
    • Children under 9 years of age are less likely to have had a prior dengue infection. For this reason, if your child is under the age of 9, they are not eligible for dengue vaccination.
  • People over 16 years of age
    • The dengue vaccine is not licensed for people over 16. There is not enough data to show how well the vaccine works in that population.
  • Children who have not had a prior dengue infection.
    • In children who have not had dengue, the vaccine could increase the risk of severe dengue, if they are infected with dengue after vaccination.
  • Children who are immunocompromised.
  • Travelers and non-residents of areas where dengue is common. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved dengue vaccine for use in travelers.

Prevent Dengue

While the vaccine is highly effective, there is a low risk that some vaccinated people can still get infected with dengue. Everyone should take steps to avoid dengue infection by preventing mosquito bites.

Dengue Symptoms and Treatment

Most people infected have mild or no symptoms. However, symptoms of dengue can become severe within a few hours. Severe dengue is a medical emergency. Learn more about dengue symptoms and treatment.