The Philippines is one of the latest places around the globe to have made significant headlines this week, as it launches a sudden probe into the dengue vaccine scare. The dengue vaccine was administered to over 730,000 children. It’s now believed that this vaccine could house serious, if not deadly side effects for all of the people who were involved in the process. Sanofi, a French drug company has officially said that the vaccine could worsen the already deadly disease within people who were not even previously infected. The original public immunisation programme was frantically suspended last Friday.

What Is The Dengue Vaccine?

Dengue fever is a potentially deadly disease that currently is seen to affect more than 400 million people around the world per year. Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease as currently stands at being one of the leading causes of serious illness and death. These cases are seen mostly in children of an Asian and Latin American background, or people who are currently living there now according to information from the World Health Organization, also referred to as WHO.

The dengue vaccine was created by Sanofi. Dengvaxia is Sanofi’s first-ever officially approved vaccine to combat dengue. The company has come forward to announce that the Philippines was not the only place affected by this issue. The drug was also administered and registered in Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Singapore, Thailand and Venezuela. When used in Brazil, the vaccine was administered as part of a public immunisation programme which, when combined with the efforts in the Philippines scheme, amounts to a total of at least one million people having had the minimum dose of the drug.

What Went Wrong And What Do The Experts Say?

Whilst Sanofi have reported in their latest press conference that there have been no reported deaths involving its dengue vaccine in the Philippines it is still a global issue as to what went so badly wrong. The company’s medical director, Ruby Dizon was quoted telling reporters “As far as we know, as far as we are made aware, there are no reported deaths that are related to dengue vaccination… Of course, rest assured, monitoring is continuing, we are working with the department of health (DOH), in collaboration, to make sure this is maintained.”. In response to this statement, Harry Roque, the Philippine presidential spokesperson said last Monday that “people should not panic over the dengue vaccine as the government is looking into the matter.”.

The Future Effects

The Sanofi company were quoted saying last week in a statement that “For those not previously infected by dengue virus, the analysis found that in the longer term, more cases of severe disease could occur following vaccination upon a subsequent dengue infection.” following this, the WHO recommend that Dengvaxia should only ever be applied to “subjects that are known to have been infected with dengue prior to vaccination”. The WHO recommendation may however change, following this new investigation.

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