Malacañang: No need to panic over Dengvaxia

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Ng Su-Peing, global medical head at Sanofi Pasteur, said Monday that those stricken with dengue in the study all had fully recovered.

It added: "In individuals who have not been previously infected by dengue virus, there is an increased risk of hospitalization for dengue and severe dengue, predominantly Grade I or II Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever".

While most patients recover, the disease poses a considerable economic burden on society - it is estimated to cost India upwards of $500m a year for example - and causes around 20,000 deaths a year worldwide.

Sanofi had said such acute dengue cases would not become apparent till about five years after vaccination, Tayag added.

More than 730,000 public school children aged 9 and above in three highly endemic Philippine regions have received at least the first dose of Dengvaxia, the first licensed dengue vaccine that is manufactured by Sanofi.

In a nutshell, the vaccine works as expected in people already exposed to the virus, but in those who haven't the vaccination is linked to an elevated risk of severe disease developing from a subsequent dengue infection.

Malacañang assured parents of the learners that no case of severe dengue infection as a result of the vaccine has been recorded by the DoH.

"As far as we know, there are no reported deaths related to dengue vaccination", Sanofi medical director Ruby Dizon said at a news briefing.

"In addition, the producer has to meet seven conditions before the product can be brought into Malaysia".

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said he will order the National Bureau of Investigation to determine if Sanofi Pasteur, which manufactures the vaccine, gave the Department of Health "proper warning" on the vaccine's possible risks.

Some 733,000 children have been vaccinated with Dengvaxia since 2016 when the Philippines became the first country to start using it on a mass scale.

"Severe dengue" as used by Sanofi means fever for two days, a drop in platelet count, hematoma, among other symptoms.

The World Health Organisation, though, defines "severe dengue" as "a potentially deadly complication due to plasma leaking, fluid accumulation, respiratory distress, severe bleeding, or organ impairment".

But, the vaccine does the opposite of what it's supposed to do, and actually increases the risk of contracting more severe dengue for those who have never been infected before.

Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito, chairman of the Senate health committee, said they will also conduct a probe into the P3.5 billion anti-dengue vaccination program initiated during the term of former President Benigno Aquino 3rd.