Senate blue ribbon committee to probe dengue vaccine controversy

Senate blue ribbon committee to probe dengue vaccine controversy

Dr Joselito Sta. Ana, Sanofi Pasteur Regional Director, gestures during a media briefing on the dengue vaccine at a hotel in Manila on Monday. Dr.

Sanofi would be liable if it is found to have withheld material information "that would have changed the outcome of all of these problems and the decision-makers in the Department of Health in the previous administration", said Duque. The Philippines, however, was the first nation to use the vaccine.

Public Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn also said the ministry has not actually focused on the use of a dengue vaccine as a key means of preventing the disease.

Since 2016, more than 700,000 Filipino children have received Dengvaxia for free under the DOH's school-based immunization program, after the vaccine was licensed by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration.

"As far as we know, as far as we are made aware, there are no reported deaths that are related to dengue vaccination", said Ruby Dizon, medical director at Sanofi Pasteur Philippines.

These included the following: first, use of the vaccine should only be considered in areas where a high proportion (preferably at least 70 percent) of the community had already been exposed to the virus; second, the vaccine should only be provided to people nine years of age and above; and third, people being vaccinated should receive three doses.

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"To see even one additional severe dengue case among those who have never seen a dengue infection before, you would need to vaccinate 5,000 people where nine out of ten have seen infection before and one out of ten hasn't."
The mosquito-borne tropical disease kills about 20,000 people a year worldwide and infects hundreds of millions. The manufacturer said it would ask health authorities to advise physicians and patients of the new information in countries where the drug has been approved.

According to Sanofi in Manila, 19 licences were granted for Dengvaxia, and it was launched in 11 countries, two of which (the Philippines and Brazil) had public vaccination programs.

Sanofi was not immediately available to comment on Duque's remarks.

The WHO clarification belies the statement issued by former Health Secretary Janette Garin that the vaccine was recommended by local and global experts, including the WHO.

"In the event that there will be authorities who will point culpability to me, I am ready to face the consequences", she told ANC TV. The WHO, for its part, has advised that, pending a full study on its safety and efficacy, the vaccine should only be rolled out in populations with a high prevalence of dengue infection.

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. Dengue, affecting 90 to 93 percent of the population in the recommended and targeted areas, was addressed as our government obligation to respond,"Garin said in a statement issued last December 3".

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