Palace: Dengvaxia issue ‘influencing’ Filipinos’ hesitancy over COVID jabs
MANILA, Philippines — It cannot be denied the Dengvaxia issue contributed to Filipinos’ hesitancy over COVID-19 vaccines.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said this Tuesday when asked if he thinks the Dengvaxia controversy is affecting the public’s decision towards getting inoculated against COVID-19.
“Hindi po natin mededeny na meron pong influence ‘yan,” said the Malacañang official in an online briefing.
(We cannot deny that this had an influence.)
“‘Wag po natin pakinggan ‘yung mga self-proclaimed experts. Kasi ‘pag naapruban po ‘yan ng FDA [Food and Drug Administration] lalo na for general use at ginagamit sa buong mundo, wala pong dahilan para matakot tayo sa ganyang mga bakuna,” he added.
(Let us not listen to self-proclaimed experts. Because if a vaccine has been approved by FDA, especially for general use, and is being used worldwide, there is no reason for us to be scared about these vaccines.)
Roque also urged the public to be critical when it comes to the information they read regarding vaccines and give their trust to FDA.
A recent Pulse Asia survey showed that nearly half of Filipinos do not want to be vaccinated against COVID-19 due to safety concerns.
In late 2017, the Department of Health (DOH) halted its massive anti-dengue immunization program using Dengvaxia after its manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur said patients who got vaccinated but had no prior exposure to the virus could suffer severe symptoms.
Around 800,000 children had already been vaccinated by the time the program was stopped.
The Public Attorney’s Office filed complaints against health officials for the deaths of children allegedly caused by the anti-dengue vaccine, which is being widely used in other countries worldwide.
But in January 2019, DOH said no death was confirmed to have been directly caused by Dengvaxia.
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