Philippines plans to sue Sanofi over dengue vaccine: minister

Dept speeds up dengue jab review | Bangkok Post: news

However, Dr. Ng Su-Peing, Sanofi's global medical head, said during a press conference on December 4 that vaccine-related severe dengue cases would be relatively rare.

In a radio interview on Thursday, Gordon questioned the swift approval by the Philippine government of the distribution of Dengvaxia to dengue patients and would like to know the people who authorized the use of the vaccine.

"The overall benefit of vaccination in a highly endemic setting such as what we have here in the Philippines is still in line with the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation for vaccination introduction", she said.
The Philippines, however, was the first nation to use the vaccine.

In a statement, Sanofi said the long-term safety evaluation of the vaccines showed significantly fewer hospitalizations due to dengue in vaccinated people over nine years old compared with those who had not been vaccinated.

Reports said four children have died after being injected with the dengue vaccine.

The Philippines Department of Justice on Monday ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to look into "the alleged danger to public health ... and if evidence so warrants, to file appropriate charges thereon".

"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."

Patients rest inside a crowded ward filled with dengue patients at a hospital in Quezon City, Metro Manila, in a file photo from August 24, 2011.

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Authorities are still in the process of reviewing information about the vaccine including the epidemiological data and assessing whether it will be cost-effective to make the vaccine a part of the country's standard immunisation package, said Dr Suwanchai Watthanayingcharoen, director-general of the Department of Disease Control (DDC).

The previous administration of president Benigno Aquino launched the vaccination programme past year, making the Philippines the first nation to use Dengvaxia on a mass scale.

"Sanofi is a responsible company that has acted according to Philippine laws and regulations for the supply and sale of the vaccine according to the approved label in the country", the company said in a statement emailed to AFP.

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

"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. Severe dengue is among the leading causes of death in many Southeast Asian and Latin American countries.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne tropical disease.

Dr Suwanchai said while waiting for the World Health Organization to formally react to the matter, all the DDC could do is assure people who have already acquired dengue immunity after a previous infection that they will experience less severe symptoms after getting the shot. Since then, over 700,000 children have been vaccinated with Dengvaxia vaccine.

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