Duque regrets Dengvaxia mess may be giving vaccination ‘a bad name’
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III lamented on Monday that the P3.5 billion anti-dengue vaccination program is tainting other immunization projects of the government.
“We must not give vaccination a bad name,” Duque said during the joint hearing of Senate blue ribbon, health and finance committees.
“Don’t take and let this situation taint the reputation of other vaccines,” he added.
Duque cited the importance of breakthrough vaccines in saving the lives of those with diseases like hepatitis, measles, chicken pox, and poliomyelitis, among others.
Earlier, Duque aired his frustration over the “mental dishonesty” of French pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur that manufactured Dengvaxia.
Thomas Triomphe, Sanofi Pasteur’s Asia Pacific head, assured that they would cooperate with the probes even as maintained that they did not commit negligence.
“We have not seen any negligence on the part of the company. But we are willing to cooperate,” Triomphe said. “Sanofi assures that Dengvaxia continues to be good, safe and effective.”
The French pharmaceutical company earlier said that based on their recent studies, Dengvaxia is proven to be effective to those who had prior dengue infection, but the vaccine “could lead to more severe symptoms for people who had not previously been infected” by the virus.
This prompted the Department of Health to stop the implementation of the program. But Duque said more than 830,000 had already been vaccinated with Dengvaxia. /kga
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