Robredo: ‘Politicized’ Dengvaxia caused fear of vaccines
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday attributed the fear of many parents against vaccines on the “politicized” issue of the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.
Robredo made the remark amid the resurgence in the country of several illnesses preventable by vaccines.
“This is saddening. The issue of Dengvaxia was politicized so many parents are now afraid to have their children vaccinated,” Robredo, speaking in Filipino, said in her weekly radio show, “BISErbisyong LENI.”
Robredo also hit public officials who seemingly campaigned against the effectivity of vaccines.
“So now, illnesses that are otherwise preventable by vaccines are now returning,” she said.
Dengvaxia was used in the mass anti-dengue vaccination program in 2016, during the administration of President Benigno Aquino III.
But the Department of Health pulled out Dengvaxia vaccines from the market after French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur, the manufacturer of the vaccine, released a study in November 2017 stating that the product could cause an increased risk to patients who had not been infected by dengue in the past.
In August 2019, DOH declared a national dengue epidemic after noting a spike in the number of cases of the mosquito-borne viral disease.
The DOH also reported the resurgence of polio in the Philippines, 19 years after the country had been declared polio-free.
The DOH also noted an increase in diphtheria cases in the country.
These recent developments, Robredo said, showed that government campaigns urging the public to vaccinate should be made “more aggressive.”
“We are pleading parents, health workers, and local government unit officials to campaign for vaccination of kids because many diseases are preventable,” she said.
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