Medicine

House panel to reopen Dengvaxia probe

House panel to reopen Dengvaxia probe

Ejercito has filed Senate Resolution No. 557 directing the proper committee to conduct an inquiry into the dengue immunization program of the DoH vis-à-vis Sanofi Pasteur's new clinical finding on the vaccine Dengvaxia's adverse effects to its recipients.

"Officials from the World Health Organization will be arriving on December 12 and 13 and I want to hear what they have to say about the issue before I conduct my investigation", Ejercito said.

He said he wants to hear from World Health Organization officials about the dengue vaccine issue before they conduct investigation, as they will arrive on December 12 and 13. "(Return the money. Pay us back.)'" Duque told ANC's Headstart, adding that he will also ask for an indemnity fund from the firm if cases of previously vaccinated children manifesting severe symptoms are proven.

Sanofi would be liable if it is found to have withheld material information "that would have changed the outcome of all of these problems and the decision-makers in the Department of Health in the previous administration", said Duque.

The minority bloc in the House of Representatives has decried the failure of the House Committee on Health to publicly release a recommendation to stop the DoH from continuing with the dengue vaccination program.

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The Philippines is one of 11 countries where Dengvaxia was introduced.

As for people who have already received dengue vaccine shots, he said, they should not worry too much about the possible side effects that have been reported in the news because not everyone will develop them.

The vaccine was to be administered in three phases at 6-month intervals beginning April 2016.

Authorities are still in the process of reviewing information about the vaccine including the epidemiological data and assessing whether it will be cost-effective to make the vaccine a part of the country's standard immunisation package, said Dr Suwanchai Watthanayingcharoen, director-general of the Department of Disease Control (DDC).

Sanofi Pasteur's statement last week was the first time the pharmaceutical company acknowledged that Dengvaxia should not be recommended to individuals if they have never been infected with the dengue virus.


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