Pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur on Monday addressed concerns that Filipinos, mainly schoolchildren, were used as "guinea pigs" for a dengue vaccine found to be potentially harmful for those who have not had dengue in the past.
Meanwhile, Sanofi Pasteur medical director Dr. Ruby Dizon stressed that a person's exposure to the dengue virus causes the disease and not the Dengvaxia vaccine itself.
Jimenez said the VACC was cooperating with health authorities to retrieve the names of those who received the vaccines, especially in the country's main regions. CVS on Sunday said it planned to buy Aetna for $69 billion.
Since the dengue immunization was carried out in April 2016, 733,713 children from Central Luzon, the region of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon, and Metro Manila were administered Dengvaxia.
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The Department of Health in cooperation with the World Health Organization kicks off the series of immunization of 1 Million children against dengue virus.
Sales last year came in at €55m, well short of the €200m predicted by analysts - and has headed south in 2017, making just €22m in the first nine months of this year and €4m in the third quarter - a near 90% drop.
While Sanofiâ Dengvaxia is the first-ever approved vaccine for dengue, scientists already recognised it was not perfect and did not protect equally against the four different types of the virus in clinical tests.
Sanofi is proposing that national regulatory agencies update the prescribing information for the vaccine to include a recommendation that healthcare professionals assess the likelihood of prior dengue infection in an individual before vaccinating.
"Sanofi urged to shoulder health needs of affected children, provide full compensation", Hontiveros said in a press statement.
Last year, more than 730,000 children in the Philippines aged 9 and above received one dose of the vaccine, Dengvaxia.
The company now has clinical data showing that there is a difference in the reaction to Dengvaxia depending on whether the recipient has had dengue fever in the past or not.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said he will order the National Bureau of Investigation to determine if Sanofi Pasteur, which manufactures the vaccine, gave the Department of Health "proper warning" on the vaccine's possible risks.
General manager Ching Santos said Sanofi has also already advised doctors to avoid prescribing Dengvaxia to patients they know who have not had dengue infections.
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