Premature Vaccine Launch Has Deadly Repercussions

DENGVAXIA. The world’s first anti-dengue vaccine is administered to Filipino grade-schoolers under the government’s school-based dengue immunization program. File photo by Joel Liporada/Rappler

By Michaeleen Doucleff/npr.org – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration just approved one of the most sought-after vaccines in recent decades. It’s the world’s first vaccine to prevent dengue fever — a disease so painful that its nickname is “breakbone fever.”

The vaccine, called Dengvaxia, is aimed at helping children in Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories where dengue is a problem.

But this vaccine has a dark — and deadly — history. One that has lead to criminal charges in the Philippines, sparked national panic and fueled a massive measles outbreak that has already killed more than 355 people.

The Concern

That story begins on a stage in Manila in 2016.

A young girl, about age 9 or 10, sat on a chair surrounded by health officials. She wore a bright yellow T-shirt with the words “Dengue is dangerous” across it. She squeezed her eyes and bit her lip as the health secretary of the Philippines, Dr. Janette Garin, gave her a shot in the arm.

That shot launched a massive vaccine campaign to inoculate nearly one million schoolchildren with Dengvaxia. The goal was to save thousands of kids’ lives and prevent an estimated 10,000 hospitalizations over a five-year period.

FULL STORY

Find more like this: Health

  • Trying to save the stories of a Philippine culture, one scan at a time
  • Pinoy archaeologist brings new human species discovery to Australia
  • Philippines a slowly ageing society – PIDS study
  • Philippines faces call for UN investigation into war on drugs killings
  • China has a new casino: the Philippines
  • Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

    Entertainment

  • Nickelodeon releases first look at rebooted classic kids program Blue’s Clues with Filipino-American host Joshua Dela Cruz
  • How Marvel’s first featured Pinoy superhero can save society
  • This play tells the urgent story of a Filipino comfort woman
  • Will ‘Sahaya’ be the first Pinoy series on Netflix?
  • Z-GIRLS, Z-BOYS with Pinoy members to debut in Korea
  • MORE...

    Features

  • My story, and the new story of Filipino immigration
  • An appreciation of Moro food can bring Pinoy Muslims and Christians closer, says this Muslim chef
  • Showcase of PH culture, heritage
  • US and Philippines: Friends, Partners, and Allies
  • A Transgender Paradox, and Platform, in the Philippines
  • MORE...

    Tourism

  • Northern Blossom Flower Farm: Atok’s floral carpet
  • Philippines records ‘all-time high’ 7.1M tourist arrivals in 2018
  • Philippines island Boracay reopens for test run following huge cleanup
  • Philippines closes ‘cesspool’ tourist island of Boracay
  • Boracay Set to Ban Tourists for Six Months During Island ‘Rehabilitation’
  • MORE...

    Sports

  • Filipino speed skater bags spot in 2020 Winter Youth Olympics
  • Pinoy gymnast Carlo Yulo earns historic qualification in worlds
  • Finding a way to bring the NBA to the Philippines
  • First Filipino table tennis Olympian Ian “Yanyan” Lariba dies at 23
  • Skateboarder Margielyn Didal wins 4th gold for Philippines
  • MORE...

    OFW News

  • Filipino maids’ dragon boat team makes splash in Hong Kong
  • DOLE suspends OFW deployment to Kuwait
  • Some OFWs turn to vlogging to beat loneliness, share life abroad
  • Overseas Filipino Bank to serve immigrants, workers
  • The ‘bagong bayani’ of the Philippines
  • MORE...

    Environment

  • ‘Sordid Chapter’ Ends As Philippines Sends Back Canada’s Trash
  • Southeast Asia became dumping ground for plastic waste – study
  • Boracay Set to Ban Tourists for Six Months During Island ‘Rehabilitation’
  • Boracay: the good, bad and ugly sides to Philippine island for tourists
  • Luzon has greatest concentration of unique mammals
  • MORE...

    Pinoy Places
    and Faces