Dengue fever vaccine scare after warnings

Anti-dengue vaccine in Philippines 'may worsen symptoms'

Dengue fever vaccine scare after warnings

The WHO, in an advisory on November 30, recommended that Dengvaxia be given only to seropositive individuals, or those who have been infected with the dengue virus.

Singapore's Health Sciences Authority said last week it had flagged risks when the vaccine was approved in October previous 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.

The office of the Philippine president vowed to hold accountable those responsible for the dengue immunisation programme, which said it placed lives at risk.

Last week, Sanofi announced that its world-first dengue vaccine could lead to more severe symptoms for people who had not previously been infected.

More than 730,000 children could be at risk after being given a vaccine which could make Dengue fever worse.

"I hope that this development will not, in any way, affect the expanded programme on immunisation because there have been countless lives saved from vaccine-preventable diseases".

Those who had been vaccinated "are being followed up for adverse effects", he said.

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The health department, nonetheless, is reviewing its contract with Sanofi. It has been fully paid by the government.

"We want to know what "severe disease" Sanofi is referring to". It's not clear to us what constitutes a severe disease.

The health department has already instructed all its healthcare providers to monitor those who have received Dengvaxia, and tabulate and investigate cases that land in hospitals, regardless of symptoms.

This will include a mandatory history survey on those who received the vaccination, a reporting of all future hospitalisations from those who received the vaccine and five years of post-vaccination follow-up.

In December 2015, the Philippine Food and Drug Administration granted marketing authorization of the vaccine, making Philippines the first country in Asia to approve licensure.

The public is urged to ensure that products used are registered and have a hologram sticker and labelled with a valid registration number. But several researchers have warned that the vaccine could trigger antibodies in a naïve subject that enhance the ability of a second infection to cause severe disease, including a deadly hemorrhagic fever. World Health Organization has backed the use of the vaccine based on a review of data from the studies.

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