Concepcion Yusop, a national immunization program manager, shows an anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia inside a vaccine storage room in Sta. Cruz city, Metro Manila, Philippines December 4, 2017. (REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco)
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The Philippines ordered an investigation on Monday into the immunization of more than 730,000 children with a vaccine for dengue that has been suspended following an announcement by French drug company Sanofi that it could worsen the disease in some cases.The government of Brazil, where dengue is a significant health challenge, confirmed it already had recommended restricted use of the vaccine but had not suspended it entirely.However, Department of Health Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo told Reuters the three referred to by the NGO died due to causes not related to the vaccine and Sanofi said no deaths had been reported as a result of the program.In a statement, Sanofi said the long-term safety evaluation of the vaccines showed significantly fewer hospitalizations due to dengue in vaccinated people over 9 years old compared with those who had not been vaccinated.Nearly 734,000 children aged 9 and over in the Philippines have received one dose of the vaccine as part of a program that cost 3.5 billion pesos ($69.54 million).According to Sanofi in Manila, 19 licences were granted for Dengvaxia, and it was launched in 11 countries, two of which -- the Philippines and Brazil -- had public vaccination programs.
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