Sanofi expects $120 mln hit as dengue vaccine hits major snag

Sanofi expects $120 mln hit as dengue vaccine hits major snag

On Wednesday, Sanofi $SNY said that their investigators had determined that Dengvaxia presented a real threat to patients who were vaccinated against dengue without having first been exposed to it.

Scientists concluded that while the vaccine protects people against further infection if they've already been infected with dengue, that's not the case for people who haven't previously been sickened by the disease.

More than 730,000 Filipino children have received at least one dose of Dengvaxia, the first licensed vaccine for the virus, since the Department of Health launched the 3.5 billion peso (£51.5bn) immunisation drive in schools previous year. Vaccination should only be recommended when the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks (in countries with high burden of dengue disease).

In a press conference, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said the DOH will place the dengue vaccination program on hold while a review and consultation is ongoing with experts, key stakeholders, and the World Health Organization (WHO). Dengue is an acute viral infection, which is transmitted through the bite of an Aedes aegypti mosquito and may result in death if left untreated.

Sanofi Pasteur disclosed that a new analysis of long-term clinical trial data showed differences in Dengvaxia's performance based on prior dengue infection.

Health chiefs in the Philippines have suspended the country's dengue immunisation programme after the vaccine's manufacturer admitted it could cause severe cases of the disease in some people. The company said political and economic turmoil had an effect on the launch.

Health spokesperson Lyndon Lee Suy said "It's totally different from the current guidelines of the WHO". For individuals who have not been previously infected by dengue virus, vaccination should not be recommended.

"They immunized nearly the same number as the ones vaccinated here".

Health officials have earlier said the vaccine is capable of lowering severity in dengue cases by 93 percent and reduces hospitalization rate by 82 percent.

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