Pharmaceutical company Sanofi warns of its own vaccine against dengue
Hundreds of thousands of children in the Philippines have received a dengue vaccine that, according to Sanofi, can be dangerous for some patients. No deaths have yet been reported. The government of the island state has now stopped the vaccination program.
State vaccination campaign stopped
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 2.5 billion people worldwide are threatened by dengue viruses. The infectious disease is transmitted in the tropics and subtropics by the diurnal Asian tiger mosquito. Dengue fever is also widespread in the Philippines. A state vaccination campaign against the dangerous disease was launched on the island nation last year. This has now been stopped after it became known that the vaccine used could be dangerous for some people.
Pharmaceutical company warns of its own vaccine
According to a report by the dpa news agency, hundreds of thousands of children in the Philippines have received a potentially dangerous dengue vaccine.
The country's Ministry of Justice therefore launched an investigation on Monday.
According to the information, the nationwide vaccination program for around one million children had already been discontinued on Friday after the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi had warned of its own vaccine drug Dengvaxia.
As the company wrote in a statement, a recent study confirmed that the vaccine "offers continued protective benefits against dengue fever in patients with a previous infection."
But: "For those who were not previously infected with the dengue virus, however, the analysis showed that in the longer term, after a vaccination with a subsequent dengue infection, more cases of serious illnesses could occur."
Over 700,000 children vaccinated with dangerous agents
According to the dpa, an estimated 733,000 children have been vaccinated in the Philippines since the vaccination campaign began.
The vaccine is approved in 15 other countries.
As the news agency reports, according to Sanofi, no deaths from the injection of the drug have been reported so far.
A neglected illness
Dengue fever is one of the so-called "neglected diseases". An effective drug or a safe vaccine against the tropical disease does not yet exist.
The clinical spectrum in the case of an infection ranges from mild forms that are almost symptom-free, to flu-like complaints with fever, headache, muscle and limb pain, to cases in which there is internal bleeding and vascular damage.
Not all infected people develop symptoms of the disease. The complaints usually last about a week. For the majority of those affected, dengue fever disappears without further consequences.
To protect yourself from infection, you should avoid mosquito bites. (ad)