Philippines Orders Probe Into Sanofi Dengue Vaccine for 730000 Children

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Yesterday, the Philippines government ordered an investigation into the immunisation of more than 7.3 lakh children with the company's dengue vaccine.

Almost 734,000 children aged 9 and over in the Philippines have received one dose of the vaccine as part of a program that cost 3.5 billion pesos ($69.54 million).

Health Assistant Secretary and infectious disease specialist Lyndon Lee Suy said they will continuously monitor the condition of Filipino recipients who already received doses of the vaccine.

According to United Kingdom public broadcaster the BBC, Sanofi said in a press conference in Manila on Monday that there had been no reported deaths related to its dengue vaccine in the Philippines.

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The Philippines has suspended the sale and distribution of the Dengue Tetravalent Vaccine, the drug locally registered as Dengvaxia, the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Tuesday.

The Reuters news agency reported that the Philippine's Department of Justice filed a probe into "the alleged danger to public health. and if evidence so warrants, to file appropriate charges thereon" on Monday.

The organization has said that it hoped to conduct a full review by the end of the year on the vaccine.

Most sales have come from the Philippines through its government immunization program, and Brazil, where the state of Parana has seen a three-fold increase in dengue in the past few years.

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However, the manufacturer of the vaccine, French drug company Sanofi Pasteur, announced recently the vaccine must be strictly limited due to evidence it can worsen dengue in people not previously exposed to the infection.

Anvisa did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did the Health Ministry.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque gestures during a news conference in Manila, November 28, 2017.

While Sanofi's Dengvaxia is the first-ever approved vaccine for dengue, scientists already recognized it was not ideal and did not protect equally against the four different types of the virus in clinical tests. An analysis of long-term clinical data had revealed that, in individuals who had never contracted dengue, the vaccine could make subsequent infections more severe.

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