Sanofi says it is cooperating with government on dengue vaccine

Ching Santos general manager of Sanofi Pasteur gestures as she speaks during a press conference in Manila yesterday. – AFP

Ching Santos general manager of Sanofi Pasteur gestures as she speaks during a press conference in Manila yesterday. – AFP

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.

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, today said Food and Drug Administration of Philippines has granted marketing approval to its Dengvaxia vaccine to be licensed for the prevention of dengue in Asia.

The Philippines banned a government program, which involved immunizing children with Dengvaxia after releasing Sanofi's findings.

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Sanofi is also working with the Philippine Food and Drugs Administration to update product labels to reflect the new information, she added. The WHO Country Office said this position paper was "based on recommendations of the Strategic Group of Experts on Immunisation which met and published preliminary advice in mid-April 2016".

"Only one in 800 of all dengue infections (including symptomless infections) could lead to a severe infection, and the increased risk identified from the new analysis translated to two additional cases of "severe dengue" out of 1,000 previously dengue-uninfected people vaccinated over five years of follow-up", the company said in an emailed statement.

The vaccine, given to anyone who had not already been infected, left people vulnerable to severe, life-threatening dengue in the event they were subsequently infected by wild type dengue.

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In a report by the PHO in their "Dengue Surveillance" update (as of November 27, 2017) a total of 4,472 cases were reported, higher than the 3,824 cases reported a year ago.

Whether ongoing investigations will hold certain former officials liable for the mess, attention must be focused on any adverse effects that might be suffered by children with no history of dengue who have received the vaccine.

The Department of Health has recommended that she be moved to a Manila hospital for closer monitoring, but Bayugo said she had shown signs of improvement with her platelet count recovering. The organization has said that it hoped to conduct a full review by the end of the year on the vaccine.

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Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection found in tropical and subtropical climates worldwide.

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