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WHO Advisory Group Recommends Testing For Dengue Before Administering Sanofi Vaccine

Associated Press: U.N. health agency: Dengue vaccine shouldn’t be used widely
“The World Health Organization says the first-ever vaccine for dengue needs to be dealt with in ‘a much safer way,’ meaning that the shot should mostly be given to people who have previously been infected with the disease…” (Cheng, 4/19).

CIDRAP News: WHO advisers halt Dengvaxia, for now
“…A point-of-care test would determine the recipient’s dengue status, and only those who have previously had the virus would get vaccinated. Such a test is at least two years down the pipeline, [the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE)] advisers said during a media telebriefing, which means confusion and chaos for countries that have purchased large amounts of the vaccine, and a huge loss for Sanofi Pasteur, the manufacturer of Dengvaxia…” (Soucheray, 4/19).

Reuters: WHO recommends testing before use of Sanofi’s dengue vaccine
“…Sanofi said in a statement: ‘We are confident in Dengvaxia’s safety and its proven potential to reduce dengue disease burden in endemic countries.’ Sanofi also said it would ‘continue to work with the international public health community and endemic countries, to ensure the best usage of the vaccine’…” (Blamont/Steenhuysen, 4/19).

Science: A new dengue vaccine should only be used in people who were previously infected, WHO says
“…SAGE is confident that its recommendation will spur development of a diagnostic test, the group’s chairman, Alejandro Cravioto of the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City, said at a press conference [Thursday]. In the meantime, he said, ‘It is for the company to decide how they cope with this.’ One of the reasons for the new recommendation is that it’s very important to maintain public confidence in the safety of the vaccine, Cravioto said…” (Vogel, 4/19).

STAT: WHO panel urges caution on dengue vaccine, dealing blow to Sanofi
“…[D]ata published in late November showed that the vaccine actually puts people who are dengue naïve at higher risk of having a severe dengue infection than if they were not vaccinated…” (Branswell, 4/19).

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