Published: Mon, December 04, 2017
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Philippines launches probe into dengue vaccine scare

Philippines launches probe into dengue vaccine scare

Sanofi's Dengvaxia vaccine is the world's first approved shot for preventing dengue infection, which kills about 20,000 people a year and infects hundreds of millions.

"We assure the public that as per the Department of Health (DOH) there is now no reported case of severe dengue infection to the individuals who received one dose of dengue vaccine past year", Roque said in a statement.

The vaccination programme in schools across the Philippines has been suspended after evidence showed it could make symptoms more severe in children who hadn't previously had the illness.

"We assure the public that as per the DoH there is now no reported case of severe dengue infection to the individuals who received one dose of dengue vaccine past year", he added.

Some 733,000 children have been vaccinated with Dengvaxia since 2016 when the Philippines became the first country to start using it on a mass scale.

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Announcing the suspension of the vaccination program, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said new recommendations would be released later this month by the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation, an advisory body of the World Health Organisation.

The France-based manufacturer of dengue vaccine Dengvaxia, on November 29 disclosed that the vaccine poses risks to those who had not been previously infected with the dengue virus.

Sanofi Global Medical Head Ng Su Pieng said she would not recommend Dengvaxia for those who have not been infected with dengue in the past.

He added: "The vaccination program is not a clinical trial and Pinoys are not guinea pigs".

Over 700,000 individuals received at least one dose of the vaccine.

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Singapore's Health Sciences Authority said last week it had flagged risks when the vaccine was approved in October a year ago, and that it was working with Sanofi to strengthen warnings in the packaging of the drug of an increased risk to vaccinated individuals not previously infected by dengue. Those at risk are some 70,000 children who were vaccinated.

Aguirre questioned the Aquino administration's move to spend billions to fund the immunization program.

DOH posted on its website that the dengue vaccine helps protect children against dengue caused by dengue virus serotypes 1, 2, 3 and 4.

The Department of Justice, as well as Sen.

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