Duterte vouches for vaccination program amid Dengvaxia mess
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday urged parents to have their children inoculated against preventable illnesses and not be bothered by the Dengvaxia controversy.
‘Yung Dengvaxia, simula ‘yung nagkaroon ng gulo dito maraming mga pamilya dito sa Pilipinas, hindi lang sa Malabon, na natakot ng mga itong vaccination at ayaw na.
(After the Dengvaxia issue, a lot of families, not only here in Malabon, had doubts and fears about vaccination).
“Do not be lulled and be complacent about it kasi ang sanggol talaga kailangan. Iyong Dengvaxia lang kung ayaw ninyo okay lang,” Duterte said at the groundbreaking ceremony of the new site of the San Lorenzo Ruiz General Hospital in Malabon City.
(Infants and children really need to be vaccinated. You can forego Dengvaxia if you have doubts.)
After the event, Duterte said that the government noted a decrease in the vaccination rate, including immunization for measles, hepatitis and polio.
Health Undersecretary Enrique Domingo said the Department of Health (DOH) had not reached its vaccination rate target of 85 to 90 percent because 60 percent of Filipino children are not getting their scheduled vaccines.
In December 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stopped the distribution of the anti-dengue fever vaccine Dengvaxia after Sanofi Pasteur admitted that immunization could be dangerous among seronegative recipients, or those who have not been infected with the dengue virus prior to vaccination.
The DOH reported that more than 830,000 individuals, mostly children, received Dengvaxia shots through the government’s P3 billion anti-dengue immunization program.
A legislative inquiry has summoned former government officials to look into their possible liability and negligence in purchasing the vaccine.
Health Secretary Francis Duque III is among the several former and current health officials as well as officials of Dengvaxia’s manufacturer and local distributor who are facing numerous complaints about the deaths of some recipients of the anti-dengue vaccine. /gsg/ac
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