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The Philippines stated on Friday that the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia may be connected to three deaths in the country, according to a government-ordered inquiry, and that the drug is not ready for mass immunization.
Sanofi the drug maker revealed in November that Dengvaxia – the world’s first dengue vaccine – might increase the risk of severe disease in people who had never been exposed to the virus. This news aroused an uproar in the Philippines, where more than 800,000 school-age children had been vaccinated with the drug in 2016 alone.
Dengue comes from mosquitoes and is the world’s fastest-growing infectious disease, tormenting up to 100 million people worldwide, causing half a million life-threatening infections and killing about 20,000 people, mostly children, every year, Yahoo News reported.
A powerful eruption took place at Mayon volcano, Philippines around 04:45 UTC on Monday, January 22, 2018 (12:45 local time), producing a column of ash that rose up to 7.6 km (25 000 feet) above sea level. At 05:10 UTC, the Tokyo VAAC reported ash cloud up to 12.5 km (41 000 feet) a.s.l. and corrected it within 30 minutes. Increased activity at the volcano forced authorities to raise the Alert Level from 3 to 4 (hazardous eruption imminent). The scale goes up to 5.
Heavy ashfall was reported in communities around the volcano and as far as Ligao City, some 35 km (21.7 miles) from Legazpi City. Albay Governor said zero visibility has been reported in parts of Guinobatan, Ligao, and Camalig after the major ash eruption, advising everyone to wear their face masks and to stay indoors, especially those in the 3rd district of Albay.
Classes in all public and private schools across the entire province have been suspended.
Volcanologist Ed Laguerta said the eruption lasted for some 8 minutes and generated pyroclastic flows towards Camalig and Guinobatan towns southwest of the volcano.
H/t reader squodgy.
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In what many described as a major Aha! Moment, Sanofi disclosed Thursday that, “for individuals who have not been previously infected by dengue virus, vaccination should not be recommended.”
The situation poses a big and deep quandary, especially for those responsible in the formulation and execution of this mass dengue vaccination program intended to cover one million children nine years old and up.
Five Russian navy ships have arrived in the Philippines to deliver military equipment donated by Russia, amid Manila’s deteriorating relations with the United States.
H/t reader Squodgy.
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H/t reader kevin a.
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