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Philippines suspends world-first dengue vaccine

Staff Writer |
The Philippines said Friday it had suspended use of a landmark vaccine for the potentially deadly dengue virus after its manufacturer warned it could worsen the disease in some cases.

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French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi announced Wednesday that its world-first dengue vaccine could lead to more severe symptoms for people who had not previously been infected.

The Philippines has vaccinated more than 733,000 children with Dengvaxia since 2016 when it became the first country to start using it on a mass scale.

But it said Friday the programme had been suspended.

"In the light of this new analysis, the DOH (Department of Health) will place the dengue vaccination programme on hold while review and consultation is ongoing with experts, key stakeholders, and the WHO (World Health Organization)," Health Secretary Francisco Duque said.

Sanofi had initially said its Dengvaxia vaccine was "critical" in the fight against dengue, the world's most common mosquito-borne virus.


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