Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/19 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 04/19 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/19 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 04/19 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/19 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 04/19 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/19 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 04/19 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/19 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/19 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 04/15 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/19 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 04/15 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 04/19 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/19 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 04/19 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 04/15 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 04/19 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 04/15 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/19 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 04/15 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
Asia-Pacific

Philippines halts sale of Sanofi's dengue vaccine

media People display a mock syringe and signs reading "3.5 billion pesos Dengvaxia fund investigate" featured on it, during a protest in front of the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) in Manila. Reuters/Romeo Ranoco

The Philippines has suspended the sale and distribution of Sanofi's dengue vaccine after the French pharmaceutical giant last week warned it could worsen symptoms for people who had not previously been infected.

Regulators on Friday froze the country's world-first public dengue immunisation programme, that has seen more than 733,000 children receive the Dengvaxia vaccine.

Authorities have now ordered a blanket suspension for private use as well.

"Whether (the vaccine) is used in the public health programme or used by a private practitioner, it is the same product that was licensed. Everyone is covered by the FDA advisory," health undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo told the AFP news agency.

The Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a regulatory agency under the health department, said in a public advisory on Monday it had pulled the vaccine from the market to "protect the general public".

Withdrawal of Dengvaxia

"The (FDA) immediately directed Sanofi to suspend the sale, distribution and marketing of Dengvaxia and cause the withdrawal of Dengvaxia in the market pending compliance with the directives of the FDA," the advisory said.

Sanofi's announcement has caused major fears in the Philippines -- where the mosquito-born disease is extremely prevalent -- particularly for parents of the children immunised in the public programme.

More than 1,000 people in the Philippines died from dengue last year, out of more than 211,000 suspected cases, according to the government.

Sanofi on Monday sought to allay fears about the new study that led it to release the warning, saying Dengvaxia would not cause anyone who was immunised to die.

Philippine authorities have given conflicting messages on the safety or otherwise of the vaccine.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said on Sunday that the government would "leave no stone unturned" in making those responsible for putting "hundreds of thousands of young lives at risk" accountable for their actions.

The justice department then on Monday formally launched an inquiry over "the alleged danger to public health".

But Roque also said on Monday there was "no danger" for people who had been immunised with Dengvaxia.

"The worst that can happen is for those who have not had dengue before... they may get infected with dengue but falling under our previous classification of 'mild', having fever and bruises," Roque said.

When asked to comment on the Philippine government's decision to suspend all sales of Dengvaxia, Sanofi said on Tuesday it would continue to work with authorities and highlighted its proposal to re-label the vaccine.

The proposed label update would "include the new data findings and instructions to ensure that physicians can make appropriate vaccination decisions with their patients," said a Sanofi statement emailed to AFP.

- with AFP

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.