Dengue Vaccine Causes Fear in the Philippines
Vaccination rates in the Philippines have decreased recently due to the controversy surrounding the vaccine Dengvaxia, which is a vaccine created by Sanofi-Pasteur to combat dengue fever. Over the course of 2016-2017, about 800,000 children received the vaccine in the Philippines. However, fourteen of these children have died and many believed the deaths to be linked to the vaccination. Sanofi stated that the vaccine use and deaths were not linked. However, the company did mention that the vaccine could cause the disease to worsen in individuals vaccinated that have never previously been exposed to dengue fever. As a result, vaccinations were halted in the country and the vaccine put under investigation. In addition, vaccination rates in the country for vaccines against other diseases, such as polio and chickenpox, fell as many parents stopped vaccinating their children in fear of the vaccines being potentially dangerous due to the Dengvaxia controversy. Last Saturday, The University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital expert panel announced the conclusion to the investigation into the vaccine, that the fourteen pediatric deaths were not linked to the vaccine. However, currently, the WHO advises only individuals who have had dengue fever previously be immunized.
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