The manufacturer of a dengue fever vaccine that was suspended in the Philippines after a new study showed a greater risk of severe cases in people without previous infection said yesterday it is working with authorities to address fears and share the new information.
The Philippine Department of Health put on hold its 3.5 billion peso (HK$540 million) public dengue immunization drive launched last year - the world's first program - after the study was released last week.
French-based Sanofi Pasteur said its long-term follow-up study of its Dengvaxia vaccine showed sustained benefits for up to six years for those who had previous dengue infection, but that people who had not had dengue had an increased risk of a severe case and hospitalization from the third year after immunization.
More than 730,000 public school children aged nine 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.
"Today if you know somebody without previous infection, we would not recommend vaccination," said Ng Su-Peing, global medical head at Sanofi Pasteur.