Dengvaxia manufacturer may be charged after contract review — DOH

Friday, December 8th, 2017. Filed under: Lifestyle News Philippine News
Dengue Drug (MNS Photo)

Dengue Drug (MNS Photo)

MANILA, Dec 4 (Mabuhay) — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the manufacturer of Dengvaxia may face charges over the release of the dengue vaccine after it was revealed that it can cause worse forms of the disease in some of those inoculated with i

“Malamang may pananagutan ‘yan talaga, pero pinapaaral ko pa sa legal services group ng DOH [Department of Health] ‘yung kontrata at ano ba ‘yung kanilang mga undertakings. Kasi bawat kontrata may stipulations ‘yan. May mga kanya-kanyang dapat gawin ang magkabilang panig na pumasok o pumirma sa kontrata,” Duque explained.

French drug manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur issued a warning last week that its manufactured drug, Dengvaxia, was only effective in preventing dengue in those who previously contracted the disease.

Those who were dengue-free before vaccination can have “severe disease… following vaccination upon a subsequent dengue infection.”

“Inaantay rin natin ‘yung kanilang kasagutan diyan: What constitutes severe dengue infection?” Duque said.

The health secretary added that it was possible that Sanofi held back data that showed adverse effects of Dengvaxia, but no solid conclusions could be made prior to a probe.

“Posible na may mga datos na hindi pinalabas na nagpakita na ganito ang maidudulot ng Dengvaxia. Hindi natin masabi ‘yan na may kasiguruhan, kaya nga pinaparepaso natin ang mga dokumento. Mahirap naman ‘yung magsasalita lang tayo ng basta-basta na hindi tayo nakakasiguro,” Duque said.

An estimated 733,000 children in public elementary schools aged nine and above residing in Regions III, IV-A, and the National Capital Region were administered Dengvaxia in three rounds over the past year.

Duque said 10 to 20 percent of these students have not contracted dengue prior to inoculation.

The Philippines became the first Asian country to approve the sale of Dengvaxia in 2015 and launched the world’s first public dengue immunization program in 2016.

Duque commented that it could not be ruled that the previous administration rushed its decision to purchase the vaccine until all documents pertaining to it are reviewed.

“Nangyari ito nung 2016, nu’ng bandang huling bahagi ng nakaraang administrasyon. Sila nagpasya dito. So tingnan natin kung ‘yung mga circumstances around which lead to the implementation, to the decision that lead to this immunization program,” Duque commented.

A total of P3.5 billion was spent to acquire the three doses of Dengvaxia used in the suspended dengue immunization program.

Despite the mishap with the dengue vaccine, Duque said the DOH’s immunization program is still reliable for vaccine-preventable diseases.

The health secretary stated that the government will continue its five-year post-immunization surveillance, heed public reports from the dengue hotline, and update physicians at regional health units, local health units, and other health providers.

Regions III, IV-A, NCR, Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu, the regions where Dengvaxia was administered, are priority areas for the hotline.

Students in these regions who received the vaccine will also be profiled and tested. Meanwhile, in Cebu City, where the vaccine was given to the general population, recipients will be profiled.

MalacaƱang on Sunday said it will hold accountable those responsible for the suspended dengue immunization program. (MNS)

Share Button