Let WHO experts talk first before launching probe on Dengvaxia – Ejercito
Senator JV Ejercito wants the Senate to hold in abeyance its planned Senate probe on the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia pending the scheduled arrival of World Health Organization (WHO) officials in the country next week.
On Monday, Senator Richard Gordon said the Senate blue ribbon committee, which he chairs, would hold another hearing on the issue on Monday next week amid safety concerns over the vaccine.
But Ejercito said he would talk to Gordon and recommend that the hearing be postponed to January next year.
“Kakausapin ko sya kasi may darating ngang mga WHO officials specifically to look into the Dengvaxa issue on December 12 and 13… Again I would want to maintain my position na hintayin na natin yung findings and recommendations of the experts in this case,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
Aside from local health officials, Ejercito said WHO officials and experts will come to Manila to look into the controversy.
Besides, he said, it would be “premature” for the Senate to call the hearing next week as the Department of Health is still collating information, especially about the children who might have been administered and affected by the vaccine.
“So I would recommend to Senator Gordon, I’d ask him if it (hearing) can be held in abeyance…Gusto ko kasi nandito yung WHO official because they would be experts on this field,” Ejercito added.
The senator said the Senate probe would be an opportunity for past and current officials to explain and justify the purchase of the P3.5 billion dengue vaccine program, which was approved on Dec. 29, 2015.
“Of course P3 billion is P3 billion. Hindi tayo nangbebengga dito. We just want to make sure that our public funds are well spent…” Ejercito added.
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