MANILA – Philippine health authorities announced on Friday that the public vaccination program in the country, which uses Sanofi Pasteur vaccines, had been suspended after problems with the vaccine were detected in certain cases.
The country’s Secretary of Health Francisco Duque said at a press conference in Manila that the program will be put on hold, while scientists from Sanofi Pasteur and the World Health Organization are examining the problems detected in the analyses.
“Dengvaxia (the vaccine) provides persistent protective benefit against dengue fever in those who had prior infection. For those not previously infected by dengue virus, however, the analysis found that in the longer term, more cases of severe disease could occur following vaccination upon a subsequent dengue infection,” said a Sanofi statement released on Wednesday.
Dengvaxia was first registered in Mexico in December 2015 and is indicated for use by individuals between nine and 45 years of age.
The program was launched in the Philippines in 2016 for one million students at some 6,000 public schools.
The program was divided into three phases, each under a six-month timeframe, with the first phase launched on April 4, 2016.
There are around 390 million dengue infections per year, with almost 100 million cases manifesting the severity of disease, according to the WHO.