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WHO issues new recommendation on Dengvaxia

The DOH has also created a task force that is composed of top officials from the DOH Central Office, its regional offices in Central Luzon, CALABARZON and National Capital Region, as well as executives from the Food and Drug Administration, Philippine Insurance Corporation and the National Children’s Hospital. The STAR/KJ Rosales

MANILA, Philippines — The World Health Organization has issued a new recommendation that Dengvaxia should not be administered to people who have not had dengue before.

The WHO said Dengvaxia "prevents disease in the majority of vaccine recipients but it should not be administered to people who have not previously been infected with dengue virus."

The new recommendation is issued based on the findings of the WHO Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety.

For those who received a vaccine but has not had dengue before, WHO "recommends enhancing measures that reduce exposure to dengue infection among populations where the vaccine has already been administered."

Those who received the vaccine and are showing signs compatible with dengue virus should immediately seek medical care to "allow proper evaluation, identification, and management of severe forms of the disease."

WHO Representative to the Philippines Gundo Aurel Weiler on Thursday's Senate probe said WHO tapped two committees to look into the new data following the Dengvaxia controversy in the Philippines.

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Weiler said that a second group of experts was formed to focus on immunization.

The group will look into scenarios surrounding the controversy: "What happened to those vaccinated, those who were not vaccinated, those who only had one dose, compared to those who had three."

Weiler said WHO is waiting for the recommendation from its two expert groups to "support the Department of Health in making the best decision on how to take this forward."

The Senate blue ribbon and health committees continued their probe on Thursday morning. Among the resource speakers in attendance were former President Benigno Aquino III, former Executive Secretary Pacquito Ochoa and former Budget Secretary Butch Abad.

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