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2016 Dengvaxia mass vaccination a serious mistake

There is a growing clamor to bring back Dengvaxia to help address the increasing number of dengue cases.

Even Malacañang says it is open to anything, if it is for the benefit of the people.

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Former Health Secretary and now Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin claims that the current dengue outbreak may have been prevented through the vaccine.

But senators are not keen on the suggestion as controversies continue to hound the use of Dengvaxia which is manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur.

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On May 1, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Dengvaxia on patients between 9 and 16 years old, with a “laboratory-documented prior infection.”

But it was not recommended for “individuals who have not previously been infected by one of the four types of virus.”

The US FDA arrived at the decision after post-marketing research by Sanofi Pasteur showed that the vaccine increased the risk of severe infection in children who were “dengue-naive.”

This brings to mind the 2016 Dengvaxia mass vaccination initiated by Garin without first checking if the beneficiaries had previously contracted dengue.

The Department of Health records showed that out of 729,105 Grade 4 students who were given the vaccine, only 534,303 had “approved parental consent” in Metro Manila and the Central Luzon and Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) regions.

Even the Philippine General Hospital’s Dengue Investigative Task Force was unable to determine how many students were dengue-naive before they were vaccinated.

If Sanofi Pasteur confirms that there is severe infection risk for dengue-naive, or seronegatives, why did the past administration conduct mass vaccination in schools? Was Garin unaware of this risk at that time?

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Was the “school-based mass vaccination” a creation of the previous administration or part of Sanofi Pasteur’s experiments on its vaccine?

What about the dengue-naive Grade 4 students who received the vaccine then? How are they now and how are their parents who also face increased risk of severe dengue?

It is easy to assume that something is terribly wrong here.

* * *

On Sept. 26, or 51 days from now, the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) deadline for Metro Manila mayors to clear roads of obstructions, such as illegally parked vehicles, basketball courts, vendors’ stalls and barangay halls, will expire. Interior Secretary Eduardo Año has threatened to suspend mayors who will not do their jobs.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority General Manager Jojo Garcia says about 30 percent of Metro Manila’s roads are obstructed. Blame this on local governments who issued “pay or overnight parking permits” for public roads or “hawkers permits” for sidewalk vendors, created “day and night markets” in commercial districts and other money-making ordinances. Their building and sanitary inspectors also turned a blind eye to encroachments on easements by businessmen and residents.

With the DILG move, you can now say goodbye to your daily “matic” from illegal vendors in Divisoria and Baclaran. Bye bye, too, to your daily “kotong” from illegal terminals at Lawton, Commonwealth, Osmeña Highway, Edsa and C-5.

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TAGS: Anti-Dengue Vaccine, Dengvaxia, DILG, Jake J. Maderazo, Janette Garin, Metro Manila road clearing, Sharp Edges
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