No recommendation to use Dengvaxia, WHO clarifies

It was last week when the issue on the controversial vaccine called Dengvaxia started when Sanofi Pasteur, a French pharmaceutical firm and manufacturer of Dengvaxie that is considered as the world's first dengue vaccine, released its statement about its aggravating effect to people that were vaccinated but have never been afflicted previously by dengue.
“The analysis confirmed that Dengvaxia provides persistent protective benefit against dengue fever in those who had prior infection. For those not previously infected by dengue virus, however, the analysis found that in the longer term, more cases of severe disease could occur following vaccination upon a subsequent dengue infection." Sanofi said.
"Vaccination should only be recommended when the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks (in countries with high burden of dengue disease). For individuals who have not been previously infected by dengue virus, vaccination should not be recommended." Sanofi added.

Since then, the issue has never subsided until now     but instead, it was stoked by the World Health Organization (WHO) after releasing a statement on Tuesday, to clarify that it has never recommended and introduced the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine to their immunization programs to any countries since July 2016.

"WHO's position on the dengue vaccine was published in July 2016, based on recommendations of the strategic group of experts on immunization which met and published preliminary advice in mid-April 2016," WHO said.

"The WHO position paper did not include a recommendation to countries to introduce the dengue vaccine into their national immunization programs." It added.

It is estimated to be more than 733,000 people, especially children in public school in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and Calabarzon, who received the three doses of the said vaccine that was rolled out in April 2016.

According to the WHO, the Department of Health (DOH) had already rolled out the distribution of the vaccine prior to its advice.

"outlined a series of considerations national governments should take into account in deciding whether to introduce the vaccine, based on a review of available data at the time, along with possible risks." WHO said.

The outline included:

* Use of the vaccine should only be considered in areas where a high proportion (preferably at least 70 percent) of the community had already been exposed to the virus;

* the vaccine should only be provided to people 9 years of age and above; and

* people being vaccinated should receive 3 doses.

In the statement of the WHO released, it acknowledged that in mid-April 2016, these conditions appeared to be met in the 3 regions of the Philippines in which the dengue vaccination effort was already ongoing at that time, wherein the DOH had been taken the decision before WHO’s advice became available.

The DOH’s decision to suspend the vaccination programs was supported by the WHO because of it appropriateness in the circumstances.



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