Friday, 23 February, 2018

Palace to 'leave no stone unturned' in Dengvaxia anomaly

Anti-dengue vaccine in Philippines 'may worsen symptoms' Philippines puts dengue immunization program on hold
Melissa Porter | 03 December, 2017, 20:05

Palace spokesman Harry Roque said the Department of Health and the Department of Education will monitor the condition of the hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren who had received injections of Dengvaxia, the world's first anti-dengue vaccine.

French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur on Wednesday admitted clinical data showed Dengvaxia - the first licensed dengue vaccine - could make the disease worse in people who had not previously been infected with the virus.

"Our present health officials are serious in carrying out their mandate to always guard the health and physical well-being of our people, which includes intensifying surveillance and evaluation of our dengue vaccination program", Roque said.

MalacaƱang also assured the parents of the students who have been administered with the vaccine that there has been no case of severe dengue infection recorded by the DOH.

But Sanofi had said it could take around five years for such severe dengue cases to become evident, Mr Tayag added.

The Philippines said Friday it had suspended a landmark public vaccination programme for the potentially deadly dengue virus after relevant manufacturer warned it could worsen the disease in some cases.

At the same time, the Palace official called on the public not to spread any false information that may cause "undue alarm".

In Thailand, authorities have allowed the vaccine to be used in private hospitals on a case-by-case basis since September 2016, but it is not yet approved for state facilities, said Suchada Jiamsiri, deputy director of the health ministry's Division of Vaccine Preventable Disease.

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

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said further recommendation will be released on December 12 or 13 by the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on immunization, an advisory body of the World Health Organization.

The Philippine Foundation for Vaccination earlier noted that on average, over 110,000 Filipinos get sick of dengue every year and that the country spends an estimated P16.7 billion annually due to dengue.