Palace to 'leave no stone unturned' in Dengvaxia anomaly


The Justice department is set to probe the P3.5 billion contract to purchase Dengvaxia, which may have placed students who have not had any prior dengue infection at risk of contracting a more risky strain.

Malacañang assured the public that those responsible for the P3.5-billion dengue vaccine fiasco will be held accountable for what it called a "shameless public health scam".

The Department of Health (DOH) halted on Friday the use of a dengue vaccine made by Sanofi after the company said its use must be strictly limited due to evidence it can worsen the disease in people who have not previously been exposed to the infection.

Aedes aegypti the vector for the dengue and Zika viruses. Pic James Gathany

"I will prepare [as soon as possible] the appropriate department order. Everybody who has some involvement will be included and appropriate charges will be filed against them if warranted", Aguirre said sought for a comment.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said further recommendation will be released on December 12 or 13 by the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on immunization, an advisory body of the World Health Organization. While Sanofi's Dengvaxia is the first-ever approved vaccine for dengue, scientists already recognised it was not ideal and did not protect equally against the four different types of the virus in clinical tests.

Announcing the suspension of the vaccination program, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said new recommendations would be released later this month by the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation, an advisory body of the World Health Organisation.

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"So the vaccine is not available in public programmes in Thailand", she added.

Lee Suy said these children, especially those who have not had dengue, will be monitored.

Lee Suy noted that this does not mean that all the children who received the vaccine are at risk.

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The Philippines was the first Asian country to administer the vaccine produced by Sanofi.

"There is a reduction of 93 percent in the severity of the (dengue) disease and 82 percent in reduction in hospitalization".

The DOJ said that based on information they received, the program was approved and implemented by the previous administration despite strong objections from experts.

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Dr. Julius Lecciones, director of the Philippine Children's Medical Center, said they had also received no reports of severe illness from Brazil, another country that has used the vaccine on a wide scale.