Duque: Dengvaxia rolled out despite incomplete safety trial
STA. ROSA CITY—Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Thursday said health officials could have waited a little longer before using the controversial antidengue vaccine in the government’s school-based immunization program.
In a forum with parents and teachers here, Duque said there was at least one more year left to complete the six-year clinical study of the CYD14 vaccine, which was later called Dengvaxia. The vaccine was used in the Philippines as early as March 2016.
Six-year clinical trial
According to Duque, the third phase of the clinical trial undertaken by French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur and the government’s Research Institute for Tropical Medicine was supposed to run for six years from 2011 to 2017.
The clinical trial, he said, was divided into two subphases: the first three years (2011-2014) to establish the vaccine’s efficacy and the second phase (2015-2017) to test its safety.
“If they waited (until) 2017, they would have known that they cannot give this Dengvaxia to children who never had dengue in the past. It appears that, based on this information…prudence would have dictated to wait,” Duque said.
The Department of Health said 837,000 children received Dengvaxia through the government’s immunization program, at least 412 of whom later tested positive for dengue.
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