The dengue vaccine P3.5-B fiasco faces probes


Students from Parang Elementary School in Marikina City, on April 4, 2016, receive the world's first dengue vaccine, which officials hope will decrease children's susceptibility to the deadly mosquito-borne disease. INQUIRER PHOTO / NINO JESUS ​​ORBETA

Officials are prepared to investigate the failed vaccination campaign against the antidote of 3.500 million dollars suspended by the Department of Health (DOH) after the manufacturer revealed that it could cause serious damage . .

Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito, chairman of the Senate health committee, said on Saturday he would open an investigation into the immunization program after health authorities completed their own investigation into the dangers posed by the first vaccine of its kind in the world.

Duke III announced the suspension of the program on Friday, two days after vaccine manufacturer Dengvaxia, French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur, said it could worsen the effects of the disease on those who have not been exposed to the virus of dengue [19659003] Duke said experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) should discuss Sanofi's disclosure later this month.

Joint Hearing

In a text message to the Inquirer, the Army said that it is most likely to be "a joint hearing with the Blue Ribbon Committee since this issue refers to responsibility "

"But we have to let DOH and WHO experts do their research research first because they know better," he said.

He said that "January may be the right time" to begin hearings on what he had previously called "disturbing findings" about the vaccine.

More than 733,000 children aged 9 years and older have received the first of three injections of Dengvaxia in the first mbadive dengue immunization program in the world. The authorities do not know how many of the vaccinated had previously been exposed to the dengue virus.

The Army said that those responsible for the mbadive vaccination program would be "responsible".

"Not only is it now an acquisition problem, but the health of 700,000 children is also in danger," he said.

Dante Jiménez, founder of Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), said his group would ask the Justice Department to order the National Bureau of Investigation to investigate the government's purchase of Dengvaxia.

"We filed a complaint against those who initiated this project," Jiménez told reporters.

Several medical experts had opposed the "hasty" implementation of the immunization program and for not waiting for results or more tests and safeguards.

The suspension of the vaccination campaign and the declaration of Sanofi have worried and angered parents, particularly those whose children have not had dengue. [1 9659003] & # 39; Guinea pigs & # 39;

Some teachers from government schools who mobilized for the program, which is mainly aimed at children from 9 to 14 years old, also felt upset about having turned their students into "guinea pigs".

"We hope that concerned and angry parents of students who have already been vaccinated will enter the school and criticize us because we are the ones who badure them that their children are safe," said a public school teacher in the city of Lucena in the province of Quezon.

She said that many students and their parents were against vaccination, but she and other teachers convinced them to get vaccinated.

"And as they trusted us, they allowed the vaccination, but now that trust has been compromised," he said.

One of her teaching colleagues said that the Department of Education should not allow the DOH to embark on an immunization campaign "if they are not sure of the safety of the medications." "

" Our students are not experimental subjects, "the teacher told the Inquirer.

Both teachers requested anonymity for fear of reprimands from their superiors.

Sen. Nancy Binay, member of the health committee Senate, urged DOH and Sanofi to launch a nationwide medical advisory and information campaign to reach parents of children who have received the vaccine.

He also asked the Department of Health to establish a public health plan surveillance to prevent a medical disaster.

Sen. Win Gatchalian proposed that DOH turn to local governments to help alleviate parental concerns.

He said his hometown of Valenzuela was addressing the concerns of parents. families of 15,538 children who had been vaccinated. "This is helping parents [in the city] rest a little longer," said Gatchalian.

Dr. Benjamin Co, director of the Center for Drug Regulation and Research, said that Dengvaxia would not be withdrawn from the market, but Sanofi would have to review the product information ticket that accompanies the vaccine before its sale is allowed.

"They will have to change how and for what it is used, the medication will be the same but the medication information will have to be changed," he said.

The change in the label must contain the instructions for using the vaccine, the indication, or for what it is, and the recommended dose. , Co said. -With reports from Jhesset M. Dwarf, Julie M. Aurelio and Delfin T. Mallari Jr.

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