Philippines 'ready for worst' in dengue vaccine…

Henrietta Brewer
December 4, 2017

Pharmaceutical giant Sanofi on Monday said there have been no reported deaths in the Philippines related to the P3.4 billion dengue vaccination program that has been suspended by the Philippine government.

France-based manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur said that an analysis of the drug based on six years of clinal data showed that in the longer term, more cases of severe dengue could occur in those who have been vaccinated with the drug among people who have not previously been infected with dengue.

"We will leave no stone unturned in making those responsible for this shameless public health scam which puts hundreds of thousands of young lives at risk accountable", Roque said in a statement.

Roque said the Palace understands the concern of the people, especially the parents and relatives of the children who received the vaccine.

He added that the health department was checking hospital records for acute cases of dengue.

The Philippines' Department of Health launched the $69.5 million public dengue immunization drive past year - the world's first such program.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said 733,713 children from Central Luzon, the region of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon, and Metro Manila were administered Dengvaxia. "We are working with health authorities to ensure that prescribers, vaccinators and patients are fully informed of the new findings, with the goal of enhancing the impact of Dengvaxia in dengue-endemic countries".

Dengvaxia is the culmination of over two decades of scientific innovation, collaboration, and research involving 25 clinical studies in 15 countries around the world.

The Department of Health in cooperation with the World Health Organization kicks off the series of immunization of 1 Million children against dengue virus.

Despite its promise and €1bn-plus in sales projections it barely got out of the starting blocks before running into difficulties, which have been blamed on political disruption and economic problems in its first approved markets, and the Indian governments refusal to waive a requirement for local clinical trials of the vaccine.

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