Manila – The Philippines ceased using the labeled vaccine for the potentially fatal dengue virus as its manufacturer warned that it may worsen disease in some cases on Friday 1 December.
Sanofi (French pharmaceutical leader) announced that the world's first dengue vaccine could cause more serious symptoms for people who had not been infected so far.
Since 2016, the Philippines has vaccinated over 700,000 children with Dengvaxia. It is the first country to start using it on a mass scale.
But on Friday, the program was canceled.
"In the light of this new analysis, the DOH (Department of Health) will place the dengue vaccination program on hold while review and consultation are ongoing with experts, key stakeholders, and the WHO (World Health Organization)," a government statement said.
Sanofi initially said the Dengvaxia vaccine is "important" in the fight against dengue. Dengue is one of the most common diseases in the world mediated by mosquitoes.
It said Wednesday that a new study has confirmed Dengvaxia's benefits for "those who had the prior infection".
"For those not previously infected by dengue virus, however, the analysis found that in the longer term, more cases of the severe disease could occur following vaccination upon a subsequent dengue infection," Sanofi said.
The Philippine government emphasized that the problem of Dengvaxia has not been reported yet.
"Currently, there is no reported case of severe dengue infection among those who received the vaccine," its statement said.
According to the government last year more than 1,000 people in the Philippines died of dengue.