DOH to decide on Dengvaxia use in two weeks

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 6)— The Health Department on Tuesday said authorities may come up with a decision on the possible re-entry of the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine in the Philippine market within two weeks.

In a media briefing Tuesday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the department is reviewing the appeal of French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi Pasteur, Inc. to lift the vaccine ban amid the spike in dengue cases.

“Right now, the status on Dengvaxia as a vaccine against dengue is its CPR (Certificate of Product Registration) has been permanently revoked. So we are in possession of appeal from Sanofi Pasteur Inc. and we have to go over the documents,” Duque told reporters.

“It will take a little more time to go over these and we will perhaps come up with a decision 10-14 days as to where the appeal stands,” he added.

The Food and Drug Administration in February revoked the vaccine’s CPR, permanently banning it from the market.

Dengvaxia was first administered to over 800,000 students in a school-based government immunization program in April 2016. The Health Department, however, suspended the drive after Sanofi Pasteur announced the vaccine can pose risks to individuals with no dengue history.

Should the appeal to lift the ban be approved, the department said the vaccine may be sold to private doctors.

At least 146,000 cases, including 622 deaths, have been recorded from January to July 20, according to the department’s latest data. This prompted the Health Department to declare a national dengue epidemic.

CNN Philippines' Alyssa Rola and Crissy Dimatulac contributed to this report.