Philippines wants money back from Sanofi for dengue vaccine
The Philippine government will look at possible legal action after a study showed the vaccine used in a dengue immunization program could expose some people to severe illness, the health chief said Friday.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the government will also seek compensation for treatment of children who may develop severe dengue. No deaths have been confirmed, but at least one immunized child has developed dengue.
The Department of Health put on hold its dengue immunization drive, which was launched last year and is the world's first such public program, after France-based Sanofi Pasteur released the study last week.
More than 730,000 public school children aged 9 and above in three Philippine regions with high rates of dengue fever have received at least the first dose of Dengvaxia, the first licensed dengue vaccine.
Sanofi Pasteur said its long-term follow-up study of the vaccine showed sustained benefits for up to six years for those who had a previous dengue infection, but that people who never had dengue had an increased risk of a severe case and hospitalization from the third year after immunization. ■