Philippines to charge Sanofi officials over dengue vaccination deaths

A growing measles outbreak in the Philippines killed at least 25 people last month, officials said, putting some of the blame on mistrust stoked by a scare over an anti-dengue fever vaccine. (File/AFP)
Updated 01 March 2019

Philippines to charge Sanofi officials over dengue vaccination deaths

  • About 830,000 schoolchildren have been vaccinated since 2016
  • It was the world’s first dengue mass immunization program involving the Sanofi drug

MANILA, Philippines: The Philippine government said Friday it would file criminal charges against six officials of the French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi Pasteur over the deaths of children injected with its Dengvaxia anti-dengue vaccine.
Justice department prosecutors faulted the company “for failing to actively monitor and conduct close surveillance of Dengvaxia recipients,” a crime which the government said was punishable by up to six years in prison.
Company officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
About 830,000 schoolchildren have been vaccinated since 2016 in the world’s first dengue mass immunization program involving the drug. The government said 32,000 others were given the vaccine in private hospitals.


Pope Francis hosts historic meeting of Higher Committee of Human Fraternity

Pope greeted the members and heads of the secretariat of the committee and presented the members with a copy of the Document on Human Fraternity. (File/AFP)
Updated 30 min 25 sec ago

Pope Francis hosts historic meeting of Higher Committee of Human Fraternity

  • The Higher Committee of Human Fraternity consists of religious, educational and cultural leaders from across the world
  • The Committee expressed its gratitude to Pope Francis for his welcome and thanked the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb for his encouraging words

DUBAI: The first meeting of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity was recently hosted by Pope Francis at the Vatican, the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church.

The inaugural convening of the Committee brought all members of the newly-established, independent body together. The Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, first announced in August, consists of religious, educational and cultural leaders from across the world who are inspired by the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together that was signed in Abu Dhabi by Pope Francis and Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, during the pontiff’s visit in February this year.

The meeting focused on establishing the organizational structure and mandate of the new body, as well as endorsing its independence as an advisory committee empowered to progress the goal of peaceful coexistence. The Pope greeted the members and heads of the secretariat of the committee and presented the members with a copy of the Document on Human Fraternity. He then expressed words of gratitude and commended the group as “artisans of fraternity”, encouraging them to be at the origin of new policies “not only of outstretched hands but of open hearts.”

After being received by the Substitute of the Secretariat of State, Edgar Peña Parra, the committee returned to Casa Santa Marta to start its work. The Committee expressed its gratitude to Pope Francis for his welcome and thanked the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb for his encouraging words.