THE Philippines decided yesterday to suspend its £50 million dengue vaccination programme — the world’s first — after the drug’s maker discovered it can lead to more severe cases.
Dengvaxia, made by French pharmaceutical transnational Sanofi Pasteur, can cause severe cases of dengue in the longer term among those vaccinated without having previously caught the virus.
More than 730,000 state school children aged nine and older in three highly endemic Philippine regions have received at least the first dose of the vaccine since the programme began last year.
World vaccination experts will issue advice in just under two weeks.
Sanofi said its latest findings showed the vaccine was still beneficial for those who had a prior dengue infection.
People who catch dengue more than once can be at risk of a haemorrhagic version of the disease.