The Philippines halts dengue vaccine program after company learns of health risk

A nurse shows vials of the anti-dengue vaccine at Parang Elementary School in Marikina Philippines in April 2016. More than 730,000 public school children aged nine and above in three highly endemic Philippine regions have received at least the first

The Philippines halts dengue vaccine program after company learns of health risk

Dr Duque tried to allay concerns over the vaccine's use, saying that for those who received it, there has been a 93 per cent reduction in severity of symptoms, and an 82 per cent reduction in hospitalisation.

The secretary said there haven't been any reports of severe dengue infection among those vaccinated, and he noted that the government would profile all those who received the vaccination and heighten its surveillance mechanisms.

Singapore's Health Sciences Authority said last week it had flagged risks when the vaccine was approved in October past year, and that it was working with Sanofi to strengthen warnings in the packaging of the drug of an increased risk to vaccinated individuals not previously infected by dengue.

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Sanofi Pasteur stressed that the vaccine still protected against dengue fever when it was given to people who had prior dengue infections.

Pharmaceutical company Sanofi SA said on Friday that it had ended development of an experimental vaccine for Clostridium difficile infection, after an early look at late-stage trial results indicated a low probability for success.

"For those not previously infected by dengue virus, however, the analysis found that in the longer term, more cases of severe disease could occur following vaccination upon a subsequent dengue infection", the statement read. Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito, chairman of the Senate health committee, said they will also conduct a probe into the P3.5 billion anti-dengue vaccination program initiated during the term of former President Benigno Aquino 3rd.

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The Justice Department on Monday ordered the investigation into the dengue vaccine program that allegedly put at least 70,000 children at risk.

"Potentially adding 5 dengue hospitalizations or 2 clinically severe dengue episodes per 1,000 vaccinees", the presentation showed. "The value of that has to be preserved, and our vaccination programme has to be enhanced and strengthened, and we are committed to do exactly that", he said.

Aguirre questioned the Aquino administration's move to spend billions to fund the immunization program.

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Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said 733,713 children from Central Luzon, the region of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon, and Metro Manila were administered Dengvaxia.

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