Dr. Ng Su-Peing, global medical chief of Sanofi Pasteur, manufacturer of the Dengvaxia dengue vaccine, speaks at a press conference in the suburban city of Taguig, east of Manila, Philippines, on December 4, 2017. The manufacturer of the dengue vaccine whose use was suspended by the Philippines last week after a study showed that the risks of severe cases in people without previous infection say that it is working to resolve those fears. (Bullit Márquez / Associated Press)
By Associated Press By Associated Press December 4 at 4:28 AM
MANILA, Philippines – The manufacturer of a vaccine against Dengue fever that was suspended in the Philippines after a new study showed a higher risk of severe cases in people without previous infection, said on Monday that it is working with authorities to address the fears and share the new information.
The Philippine Health Department suspended its 3.5 billion pesos ($ 69.5 million) public immunization campaign against dengue initiated last year, the first public program in the world, after the launch of the study last week.
French-based Sanofi Pasteur said his long-term follow-up study of his Dengvaxia vaccine showed sustained benefits for up to six years for those who had previous dengue infection, but that people who never had dengue had a higher risk of a serious case and hospitalization from the third year after immunization.  659006] More than 730,000 public school children 9 years of age or older in three Philippine regions with high rates of dengue have received at least the first dose of Dengvaxia, the first licensed vaccine for dengue.
"Today if you know someone without a previous infection, we would not recommend vaccination," said Dr. Ng Su-Peing, global chief medical officer of Sanofi Pasteur.
Still, he said in places with a high incidence of dengue, such as the Philippines, where nine out of 10 children aged 9 to 14 years are infected with the virus before adolescence, "the potential benefits of vaccination outweigh the potential risks in individuals with unknown serostatus ".
Of every 100 people infected with dengue, only 25 typically show symptoms, he told reporters.
Ng said that most of the participants in the study without previous dengue infection who fell ill had cases that were clbadified in the milder levels of four of severity. No cases were recorded at the most severe level, and all those affected by dengue in the study have fully recovered, he said.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that the Philippines will wait for a recommendation to be announced on December 12 or 13 by the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization, an advisory body of the World Health Organization.
Ching Santos, general manager of Sanofi Pasteur in the Philippines, said the company had begun to share the new data with all interested parties, including private health professionals and will cooperate with the Philippine health authorities in a continuous review of the public vaccination program.
Sanofi is also working with the Philippine Food and Drug Administration to update the product labels to reflect the new information, he added.  Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection found in tropical and subtropical climates throughout the world. It causes a flu-like illness that can cause joint pain, nausea, vomiting and a rash. In severe cases, dengue can cause respiratory problems, hemorrhage and organ failure.
The World Health Organization says that approximately half of the world's population is at risk of dengue, with a recent estimate indicating 390 million infections per year, of which about 96 million people show symptoms.
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