December 1, 2017

Philippines Suspends Dengue Shots After Drug Firm’s Warning The New York Times Reports: MANILA — The Philippines suspended its school-based dengue immunization program on Friday after the French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi warned that its flagship vaccine, Dengvaxia, had been found to pose health risks in people not previously infected. The suspension came after health experts expressed worries about Sanofi’s announcement this week. The company said further clinical studies had revealed that, in those who had previously had dengue, the vaccine could prevent repeat infection. But for those who had not had dengue, and were vaccinated and later became infected, “more cases of severe disease could occur,” Sanofi said in the advisory. With more than 740,000 elementary school students in the Philippines having already received Dengvaxia vaccinations, the government decided to halt the program for the time being. The Philippine health secretary, Francisco Duque, said the program would be “on hold while review consultations are on the way.” He added that the government would seek help from medical experts outside the Philippines, including from the World Health Organization. Dengue is the most widespread mosquito-borne disease in the world, with nearly 400 million people infected every year. There are four dengue viruses, or serotypes, and most people who are infected recover and become immune to the first serotype they had. In some cases, a later infection with a different serotype can lead to a severe hemorrhagic fever. About 25,000 people die every year from hemorrhagic fevers arising from the disease. Mr. Duque said that, with an average of Read More