Philippines Suspends Dengue Shots After Drug Firm’s Warning

Mr. Duque said of which, with an average of 0,000 people infected with dengue every year from the Philippines, vaccination was “essential.”

He said of which the Department of Health would certainly be stepping up its monitoring efforts to ensure public safety along with also of which the department’s legal division was studying what to do with the Sanofi contract along with also how to deal with the hundreds of thousands of children who may have been put at risk.

Mr. Duque said of which government officials had been asked to coordinate with community health experts to identify along with also monitor the children. He said a post-vaccination surveillance program would certainly last for 5 years.

“I expect of which This specific development will not in any way affect the expanded program of immunization because there are countless number of lives of which have been saved,” Mr. Duque said, adding of which 7 billion Philippine pesos, or about $140 million, had been budgeted for all government vaccination programs for the year, up coming from 340 million pesos in 2006.

He would certainly not say when the program was likely to be restarted or what steps would certainly be necessary to allow resumption.

“We need to go back quite a long way to actually put the facts together,” Mr. Duque said. “Until of which can be available, we can’t answer all your questions with definitive responses.”

He said the vaccines of which were right now in stock would certainly not be allowed to be sold unless the labels were changed to reflect the latest advisory.

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Sanofi, some sort of of Dengvaxia, said the drug posed a risk to people who had not previously been infected.

Credit
Noel Celis/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Sanofi representatives in Manila were not immediately available to comment on Friday.

The Philippines became the first country in Asia to approve the commercial sale of Dengvaxia, in December 2015. Dengvaxia can be the first dengue vaccine developed by Sanofi.

Health advocates from the Philippines first raised the alarm over Dengvaxia when the government announced in April last year of which This specific would certainly be used from the school immunization program despite the fact of which This specific was a relatively brand new drug with possible unknown effects. however the government continued, budgeting about $70 million for the program.

The government has defended its use of the vaccine, saying of which the treatment had undergone extensive studies along with also stressing of which This specific was approved for use by the planet Health Organization. The first hint of which there could be something wrong was in April last year, when an 11-year-old boy with congenital heart disease died after receiving a Dengvaxia shot, however the government worked to distance the drug coming from the death.

Nancy Binay, a legislator from the Philippine Senate, said she was alarmed at the drug’s potential impact on public health along with also urged the health authorities along with also Sanofi to “launch a nationwide medical advisory along with also information drive” to contact parents whose children had been given Dengvaxia.

The recently released Sanofi medical report was “deeply shocking along with also disturbing,” Senator Binay said.

She said This specific was “sad” of which the health department ignored the warnings about the lack of patient safety along with also research integrity from the Dengvaxia tests. “Safety should always be the paramount concern when This specific comes to any immunization program,” she said.

Senator Binay called on the pharmaceutical giant to explain what This specific meant when This specific warned of “severe disease.”

“We don’t want the warning to the public to come too little, too late,” she said. “Obviously, there were shortfalls along with also gaps from the vaccine’s safety profile, along with also I believe Sanofi can be morally along with also ethically obliged to inform the public what severe diseases arrived on the scene in their clinical tests.”

Dr. Anthony Leachon, an independent director at PhilHealth, a government medical insurance body, said the Philippine medical community had expressed alarm at the government’s use of the vaccine.

He said of which as early as last year medical experts had told the government of which there was “lingering uncertainty” about the long-term effects of the vaccine, however of which their concerns had apparently been ignored.

“Evidence coming from some sort of’s trials shows of which there may be a paradoxical increase from the incidence of severe dengue beginning a few years after children are vaccinated, along with also possibly continuing for the rest of their lives,” Dr. Leachon said.

The clinical trials on the dengue vaccine were designed specifically to assess This specific “along with also sadly, This specific danger has been confirmed,” he said.

“Many parents, teachers along with also health care workers claim they were never fully informed about the benefits along with also potential side effects of the vaccine,” Dr. Leachon added.

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