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02 December 2017, 04:18 | Melissa Porter
FILE Senator Nancy Binay
So, when a person encounters dengue naturally after a previous vaccination, their immune system could process it as a second infection that's much more severe, according to the team from Imperial College London, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of Florida.
It warned that the vaccine may cause "more severe dengue cases" on those who may contract the disease for the first time.
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.
While Sanofi's Dengvaxia is the first-ever approved vaccine for dengue, scientists already recognised it was not flawless and did not protect equally against the four different types of the virus in clinical tests. The company says vaccination should "only be recommended when the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks", such as where the disease burden is high.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque 3rd said the DoH would review and consult with experts, key stakeholders and the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding Dengvaxia. That will include mandatory history-taking of those vaccinated, mandatory reporting of all vaccine recipients admitted to hospital regardless of symptoms, and five years of post-vaccination surveillance.
Dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever, which are transmitted by a bite of an Aedes aegypti mosquito, are acute viral infections that affect infants, young children, and adults. "These findings highlight the complex nature of dengue infection".
The DOH, on the other hand, said the pharmaceutical company must clarify their definition of "severe dengue". But now, what is deemed severe is when there is an organ failure, water in the lungs or stomach.
For those not previously infected by the dengue virus, analysis found vaccination prevented severe illness for at least 30 months, Mr Duque said.
In the Philippines, an average of 200,000 cases of dengue was reported every year.
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