Trouble mounts for Sanofi dengue vaccine over safety concerns

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The Philippine Department of Health put on hold its 3.5 billion peso ($69.5 million) public dengue immunisation drive launched previous year - the world's first such public programme - after the study was released last week.

Brazilian health regulator Anvisa, in an emailed statement to Reuters, said it had not received any reports of vaccine recipients dying or falling more severely ill because of the drug.

The FDA further instructed Sanofi to conduct an information dissemination campaign through Advisories, Dear Doctor Letters, and Patient fora.

According to United Kingdom public broadcaster the BBC, Sanofi said in a press conference in Manila on Monday that there had been no reported deaths related to its dengue vaccine in the Philippines.

"Like many others in the Philippines, WHO is awaiting the expert analysis of new data and advice about its implications for use of the vaccine".

The WHO says about half the world's population is at risk of dengue, with a recent estimate indicating 390 million infections per year, of which about 96 million people show symptoms.

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In a report by the PHO in their "Dengue Surveillance" update (as of November 27, 2017) a total of 4,472 cases were reported, higher than the 3,824 cases reported past year.

To allay the fears of the public, Malacañang on Monday reminded the public to not panic over the government's dengue vaccination program, saying the Department of Justice (DOJ) will start an inquiry on the purchase of the drug.

The Department of Health has recommended that she be moved to a Manila hospital for closer monitoring, but Bayugo said she had shown signs of improvement with her platelet count recovering.

Most sales have come from the Philippines through its government immunization program, and Brazil, where the state of Parana has seen a three-fold increase in dengue in the past few years.

The scare surrounding the disease, which upon infection can progress to progress to the deadly dengue haemorrhagic fever or dengue shock syndrome, has led scientists to develop the world's first ever dengue fever vaccine called the Dengvaxia vaccine.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection found in tropical and subtropical climates worldwide.

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