DOH puts dengue immunization program on hold

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Scientists concluded that while the vaccine protects people against further infection if they've already been infected with dengue, that's not the case for people who haven't previously been sickened by the disease.

The analysis of six years of clinical data confirmed Dengvaxia did provide persistent protective benefit in those who had previously had dengue, the company added. "Obviously, there were shortfalls and gaps in the vaccine's safety profile, and I believe Sanofi is morally and ethically obliged to inform the public what severe diseases came out in their clinical tests", she said.

THE Department of Health (DoH) said on Friday that it would suspend its dengue immunization program after its supplier revealed that its vaccine may cause a more severe case of dengue fever.

Dengvaxia is the first vaccine to gain approval for the dengue virus, which is a mosquito-borne viral disease with no cure. The vaccine is now recommended in most dengue-endemic countries for people over age nine.

Duque said Sanofi is using a classification-that identifies a case of dengue as "severe"- based on previous guidelines in 1996.

The French pharmaceutical giant said it would ask health authorities to update information provided to doctors and patients.

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Apple then filed a lawsuit with similar claims, and it has since continued to make such claims in several courts in the world. Earlier this year, Apple began withholding those royalty payments - totalling around $2 billion per year - to Qualcomm.

Health officials have earlier said the vaccine is capable of lowering severity in dengue cases by 93 percent and reduces hospitalization rate by 82 percent.

The DOH, on the other hand, said the pharmaceutical company must clarify their definition of "severe dengue".

Dengvaxia is approved for marketing in 11 countries, mostly in Asia and Latin America, where dengue is a leading cause of serious illness and death among children.

Before the current analysis, a research team a year ago found that the vaccine-if given to dengue-naïve individuals-"acts very much like a natural infection but without making recipients sick".

The incidence of the virus has increased dramatically around the world in recent decades, with widespread outbreaks in several countries in 2016.

Some 500,000 patients each year require hospital treatment and about 12,500 of those die, according to the WHO.

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