A dengue fever vaccine, that was recently given to 730,000 school aged Filipino children, has been found to be dangerous and useless. Effective immediately, the country is suspending its immunization program following the new revelations from Sanofi Pasteur.
“French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur on Wednesday admitted clinical data showed Dengvaxia – the first licensed dengue vaccine – could make the disease worse in people who had not previously been infected with the virus.”1 (Sanofi Pasteur claims that Dengvaxia provides “persistent” protective benefits for those who have already had dengue.)
The Department of Health is now preparing for a worst-case scenario. Department of Health spokesman, Eric Tayag, said the vaccine “was only given to children aged nine or older and that the immunization scheme only operated in areas where dengue was already widespread.” 2 Therefore, those who have already been vaccinated will be closely watched for adverse effects. The health department is also checking hospital records for acute cases of dengue. However, Sanofi has said it could take about five years for severe dengue cases to become evident.
According to government figures, of the more than 211,000 suspected cases of dengue fever in the Philippines last year, at least 1,000 people died.