Philippines puts dengue immunization program on hold

If you haven't had dengue infection, don't use our vaccine, drug company warns

The analysis confirmed Dengvaxia provides persistent protective benefit in those who had prior infection, Sanofi said. That will include mandatory history taking of those vaccinated, mandatory reporting of all hospitalized vaccine recipients regardless of symptoms and 5 years of post-vaccination surveillance.

Philippine Health Secretary Francisco Duque told a news briefing on Friday (Dec 1): "In the light of this new analysis, the Department of Health will place the dengue vaccination programme on hold while reviewed consultations are on the way with experts, key stakeholders, and...the World Health Organisation (WHO)".

Sanofi will ask health authorities to update information provided to physicians and patients on its dengue vaccine Dengvaxia in countries where it is approved.

But for those not previously infected by the virus, more cases of severe disease could occur in the long term following vaccination upon a subsequent dengue infection, Sanofi said. The request is based on a new analysis of long-term clinical trial data, which found differences in vaccine performance based on prior dengue infection.

For those who have not been infected by dengue, there is a possibility for them to get severe dengue. The mosquito-borne virus can be fatal in severe cases.

Health spokesperson Lyndon Lee Suy said "It's totally different from the current guidelines of the WHO".




"As chair of the Senate Committee on Health, I intend to call for an investigation on the disturbing findings related to the dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia", he said. Before, spontaneous nosebleeding classifies dengue as severe.

Although dengue is not as serious as malaria, it is spreading rapidly in many parts of the world. For individuals who have not been previously infected by dengue virus, vaccination should not be recommended. So, when a person encounters dengue naturally after a previous vaccination, their immune system could process it as a second infection that's much more severe, according to the team from Imperial College London, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of Florida.

Lecciones noted that Brazil, another country that had a mass dengue vaccination campaign, will continue its public immunization program.

He said there are now no reports of severe dengue infection among those vaccinated.

"The DOH and the Department of Education should also closely monitor the kids that were vaccinated and ensure that proper medical support will be provided to them", he added.

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