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Philippines 'ready for worst' in dengue vaccine…

Philippines 'ready for worst' in dengue vaccine…

French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur said on Monday (Dec 4) there have been no reported deaths among the over 730,000 children in the Philippines who had received its flagship dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.

"As far as we know, as far as we are made aware, there are no reported deaths that are related to dengue vaccination", Ruby Dizon, medical director at Sanofi Pasteur, told reporters. It said it will ask health authorities to update information provided to physicians and patients. CVS on Sunday said it planned to buy Aetna for $69 billion.

"We understand the concern of our people, especially the parents and the relatives of public elementary children residing in Regions III (Central Luzon), IV-A (Calabarzon), and NCR (Metro Manila), where the dengue vaccination initiative was launched by the previous administration", Roque said.

He added that the health department was checking hospital records for acute cases of dengue. However, the Department of Health (DOH) stopped its implementation after Sanofi released its recent analysis.

Senator Joel Villanueva sought to revive a congressional probe on the dengue vaccination programme to determine whether some health officials should be held responsible "for haphazardly allowing the vaccine to be administered without extensive due diligence on the effects and without waiting for the results of a comprehensive clinical trial".

In a nutshell, the vaccine works as expected in people already exposed to the virus, but in those who haven't the vaccination is linked to an elevated risk of severe disease developing from a subsequent dengue infection.

Dengue is the most widespread mosquito-borne disease in the world, with nearly 400 million people infected every year.

More than 733,000 children have already received Dengvaxia, raising fears that many could develop the harsher form of the disease.

Sanofi Philippines said it would issue a statement on Monday.

"For those who don't know, truly don't know what their status is, the data still shows that overall, in highly dengue-endemic areas, the vaccine is preventing... there's far fewer cases, significantly fewer cases of severe dengue and dengue hospitalizations in those who've been vaccinated versus those who didn't receive the vaccine", Ng said.

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.

Peing said she would not recommend Dengvaxia for those who have never been infected.