Solon scolds Sanofi exec over Dengvaxia mess
A lawmaker hit pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur on Wednesday for not recognizing the problem despite issuing an advisory that the company’s vaccine, Dengvaxia, could cause severe dengue for those vaccinated despite not having previous history of the illness.
During the relaunch of the House committee on good government and public accountability investigation on the controversial government immunization program, Nueva Ecija Rep. Estrelita Suansing criticized Sanofi Pasteur Asia Pacific head Thomas Triomphe for maintaining that the recent findings regarding the vaccine are not a cause for public scare.
“This is the problem, this is the issue, you don’t recognize the problem. Because if you recognize the problem, we need solution for it. Because if you have the chance to talk to the parents of these children, then you would feel their concern about their children and they’re asking now, what shall we with our children?” Suansing said.
“We need to do something about the children because of your statement. It is Sanofi itself who issued the advisory that there is a problem,” she added.
Triomphe earlier said that Sanofi Pasteur’s advisory is not a cause for panic and alarm, maintaining that Dengvaxia remains “safe” for use.
The Department Health (DOH) said more than 800,000 public school children 9 years old and above in three highly endemic regions—Metro Manila, Central Luzon and Calabarzon—have received at least the first of three doses of the first licensed anti-dengue vaccine.
The bungled program has drawn criticisms and rebuke from the public and government officials alike.
In a Facebook post, former DOH undersecretary Dr. Susan Mercado said the program was the “biggest government-funded clinical-trial-masked-as-a-public-health-program scam of an experimental drug in the history of the DOH.” /kga
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