Dengvaxia launched before WHO recommendation, says country rep


Posted at Dec 14 2017 12:11 PM

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MANILA - The Philippines rolled out its P3.4 billion dengue vaccination program even before the World Health Organization could come up with a recommendation, the WHO representative to the Philippines said Thursday. 

WHO representative Dr. Gundo Weiler said they started the study on Dengvaxia on April 2016 and published its first position paper on July 29, 2016.

The Philippines launched the dengue vaccine program on April 2016.

He said the WHO study showed that Dengvaxia is "efficacious in preventing dengue."

The study noted that a statistical increase in the risk of severe dengue is not observed among people 9 years or older included in their study group. 

"There was a theoretical risk that previously uninfected people in those vaccinations could increase occurrence of severe dengue. The paper said this requires more study to confirm," he added.

Weiler said WHO did not make a blanket recommendation of the vaccine to all countries. The suggestion was to introduce the vaccine to countries with a high rate of dengue. 

He said the Philippines appeared to be among these countries when WHO published its position paper.