Kids below 9 also injected with dengue vaccine: Ubial

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 11 2017 03:01 PM | Updated as of Dec 11 2017 03:54 PM

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MANILA - Children below 9 years old in the Philippines were also vaccinated with Dengvaxia, which was prescribed for older individuals, former Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said Monday.

"The vaccination program was given to 9 years old and older. However, I think in the clinical trials they were given to younger children...The Philippines was a venue to clinical trials about 10 years ago," she said in a Senate hearing on the dengue immunization program.

Ubial said no other child below 9 was injected after the trial period.

The Philippines was the first country in Asia to approve the vaccine for individuals aged 9 to 45 years old in December 2015.

The government has since procured P3-billion worth of Dengvaxia intended for one million public school children in areas reported to have the highest incidence of dengue in 2015: in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and CALABARZON regions.

The vaccine was to be administered in three phases at 6-month intervals beginning April 2016, but it was recently halted after drug-maker Sanofi Pasteur admitted that Dengvaxia may cause "more cases of severe disease" if given to those who have not had the mosquito-borne illness before.