A

n expert panel that advises the World Health Organization recommended that the world’s sole licensed dengue vaccine be administered only to people who have previously had medically confirmed bouts of the disease — a blow to vaccine maker Sanofi Pasteur.

The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization — known as the SAGE — said that it would be unsafe to give the vaccine to people who have never before been infected. That’s because data published in late November showed that the vaccine actually puts people who are dengue naïve at higher risk of having a severe dengue infection than if they were not vaccinated.

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