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Philippines to charge Sanofi, health officials over dengue vaccination deaths

Staff Writer |
The Philippine government said it would file criminal charges against officials of Sanofi Pasteur over the deaths of children injected with its Dengvaxia anti-dengue vaccine.

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The Justice Department said its prosecutors found grounds to hold Sanofi officials criminally liable and that charges of "reckless imprudence resulting to homicide" will be filed in court, but gave no timeframe.

It recommended six Sanofi employees and 14 current and former Philippine health officials to be charged.

The department said the charges would be based on an investigation into the deaths of 10 children, adding other complaints were still being probed.

The Philippines was the first nation to use Dengvaxia in a mass immunisation programme, but Sanofi disclosed in 2017 that it could worsen symptoms for people not previously infected by the dengue virus.

The disclosure sparked a nationwide panic, with some parents alleging the vaccine killed their children.

The controversy also triggered a vaccine scare that the government said was a factor behind measles outbreaks that the UN Children's Fund said have killed 203 people so far this year.

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