Palace assures: No severe dengue case yet

Sanofi on Monday said there have been no reported deaths in the Philippines related to its vaccine. Source Shutterstock

Sanofi on Monday said there have been no reported deaths in the Philippines related to its vaccine. Source Shutterstock

Roque said there had been no reported case of "severe Dengue infection" since the vaccine was administered and called on the public "not to spread information that may cause undue alarm".

"We assure the public that as per the Department of Health (DOH) there is now no reported case of severe dengue infection to the individuals who received one dose of dengue vaccine a year ago", Roque said in a statement.

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.

About 733,713 Filipino children have been given the dengue vaccine as of November 2017.

Roque said the government understands the concern of parents and relatives of public elementary students in Central Luzon, Calabarzon and Metro Manila, where the vaccination program was launched by the previous administration.

Malacañang assured the public that those responsible for the P3.5-billion dengue vaccine fiasco will be held accountable for what it called a "shameless public health scam".

The analysis confirmed Dengvaxia provides persistent protective benefit in those who had prior infection, Sanofi said.

For those not previously infected by the dengue virus, analysis found vaccination prevented severe illness for at least 30 months, Mr Duque said.

Ae-aegypt
Aedes aegypti the vector for the dengue and Zika viruses. Pic James Gathany

The Department of Health (DOH) halted on Friday the use of a dengue vaccine made by Sanofi after the company said its use must be strictly limited due to evidence it can worsen the disease in people who have not previously been exposed to the infection.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said he will order the National Bureau of Investigation to determine if Sanofi Pasteur, which manufactures the vaccine, gave the Department of Health "proper warning" on the vaccine's possible risks.

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

Despite the suspension, Duque said "vaccination is essential to the integrated approach in dengue prevention and control".

The WHO said in a statement that in the light of the new findings, "as a precautionary and interim measure, WHO recommends that Dengvaxia is only administered to subjects that are known to have been infected with dengue prior to vaccination".

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.

The recipients - nine-year-old public school students in the three regions - were given three doses of the vaccine, six months apart.

8 killed after boat capsizes in S. Korea
The year before, a passenger ferry capsized and more than 300 people died, a lot of them school children on an outing. President Moon Jae In ordered all measures be taken to find those missing, his office told reporters.

Latest News