Philippine authorities on Friday said the world’s first dengue vaccine may be responsible for the deaths of three children in the country. A government-ordered inquiry was carried out after 14 children died following vaccinations last year. More than 800,000 children had been vaccinated with the drug, Dengvaxia, before the Philippine Health Ministry halted immunizations over safety concerns. Philippine authorities now say they have found a “causal association” between three of the 14 deaths and Dengvaxia, meaning the drug is not ready for “mass vaccinations.” Health Undersecretary Enrique Domingo said the government “would need three to five more years to watch and monitor if there would be other adverse reactions from the vaccine.” Sanofi, the French drugmaker that manufactures Dengvaxia, announced in November that the drug might increase the risk of severe disease in those who had not been exposed to the virus before. In a statement to Reuters on Friday, the drugmaker offered its sympathies over the deaths in the Philippines but stressed that there is no direct link to Dengvaxia.
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