Sri Lanka rejected proposal to import ‘dengue vaccine’
December 5, 2017 03:19 pm
The Ministry of Health says that Sri Lanka had also received a proposal with regard to importing the dengue vaccine, which is currently being investigated in Philippines, and that however it was rejected over reports that it could pose health risks.
Dr. Priscilla Samaraweera, at the Sri Lankan National Dengue Control Unit, stated that as of now the ministry has taken no decision to import the said vaccine or use it in Sri Lanka.
However, she said that currently no information is available regarding any Sri Lankans personally traveling overseas in order to obtain that vaccine.
Philippines has launched an investigation into the immunisation of 730,000 children with the dengue vaccine after last week French drug company Sanofi announced its vaccine could worsen the potentially deadly disease in people not previously infected.
The public immunisation programme in Philippines was suspended on Friday.
Dengue fever affects more than 400 million people each year around the world. The mosquito-borne disease is a leading cause of serious illness and death among children in some Asian and Latin American countries.
Sanofi’s Dengvaxia is the first-ever approved dengue vaccine. In addition to the Philippines, the company said the vaccine was registered in Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Singapore, Thailand and Venezuela.
The vaccine has also been used in a public immunisation programme in Brazil which, combined with the Philippines scheme, has to date provided around one million people at least one dose of drug.