Duterte gets shortlist of Asian experts to probe Dengvaxia effects
Health Secretary Francisco Duque has submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte a shortlist of Asian experts that would study the effects of the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine, Malacañang said Tuesday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte is expected to choose from among the four pathology experts recommended by Duque members of the panel to lead the investigation, during the 27th Cabinet meeting on Monday.
“Meron pong isang taga-Vietnam, meron pong isang taga-Thailand, meron pong isang taga-Singapore at meron isang taga-Sri Lanka,” Roque said in a press briefing in Indang Cavite.
Roque said the panel of experts will be made of three members.
READ: Duterte to create panel to study controversial Dengvaxia vaccine
“Ang pagkakaintindi ko po pipili si Presidente ng tatlo sa apat,” he said. “So bahala po ang presidente na mamili.”
The Palace official said none of the experts had any ties with the Philippines.
“Lahat po ‘yan dayuhan, lahat po ‘yan walang kinalaman sa kahit kanino dito sa Pilipinas,” he said.
The government, he said, has “enough” budget to invite the panel of experts to the country in order to come up with a conclusion on the effects of Dengvaxia – the first and only licensed anti-dengue vaccine in the world.
“Meron naman po tayong sapat na budget para sila ay imbitahan dito sa Pilipinas at mag-aral doon sa kung ano ang dapat nilang pag-aralan para magkaroon sila ng konklusyon sa epekto, sa tunay na epekto ng Dengvaxia,” Roque said.
In a text message to reporters, Public Attorneys Office Chief Persida Acosta questioned the list of experts submitted to the President by Duque.
“Kung DOH ang kumuha niyan ay hindi independent ang mga ‘yan kasi nakademanda ang mga taga DOH na bumili at nagpaturok ng dengvaxia,” Acosta said.
In April, the Department of Health (DOH) said 62 children have been reported to have died due to the vaccine. With reports from Daphnie Beltran, INQUIRER.net trainee
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