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Palace: Don’t panic, Dengvaxia doesn’t cause deadly dengue

There is no reason to panic over the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia received by 733,000 children, Malacañang said on Monday.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said if the recipients of the vaccine will develop dengue after around three years, it will not be a deadly type.

"The good news is people should not panic about the dengue vaccine. There is no danger with the dengue vaccine," he said in a briefing in Malacañang.

The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday suspended the use of Dengvaxia, a dengue vaccine made by French-based Sanofi Pasteur, because of evidence that it can worsen the disease in people who have not previously been exposed to the infection.

"And the 'severe dengue' that is mentioned by Sanofi will involve symptoms that include two days of fever and hemophilia. ‘Yung pagmamarka ‘no sa skin. It is not the deadly type of dengue," Roque said.

"The sentiment that should be shared with the public is: We will tell you if there is a reason to be concerned. What we're telling you right now wala pong dahilan para maabala... Uulitin ko po, ang sinasabi nilang severe dengue, hindi po nakakamatay. Lagnat at pasa. Hindi naman po nakakamatay. So huwag po tayong mag-panic," he added.

Health spokesperson Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy who was at the briefing supported Roque's statement.

"The severe that was being identified by Sanofi is totally different with the severe… our severe clarification that is being used currently together with WHO [World Health Organization]," he said.

He also pointed out that only around 10 percent of the 733,000 children would at risk of acquiring sever dengue after two years or so. This is based on DOH data that nine of 10 Fiipinos acquire dengue at some point in their life.

"Ngayon, doon sa 10 porysentong ‘yun na sabi nila at risk. We’re talking about at risk, meaning hindi naman automatic din na porke hindi nabakunahan at kasama ka doon sa isa sa 10 ‘yun, eh automatic na ‘pag nagka-dengue severa ka na," he said.

"You may develop. You may be at risk. But not saying that those one out 10 would eventually develop severe dengue," he added.

Sanofi released a similar statement during its press conference earlier.

Suy assured the public that the DOH would monitor the recipients of the Dengvaxia for the next years. —ALG, GMA News