Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday said questions surrounding the government’s purchase of P3.5-billion Dengvaxia vaccine must be resolved soon, after its manufacturer disclosed possible risks in its use.
“Kailangang masusing pag-aralan at panagutin iyong mga kailangang managot,” VP Leni said in her weekly radio show, BISErbisyong LENI, on RMN-DZXL 558.
The Vice President said that the concerned parties must address concerns over the issue immediately, especially for the parents whose children were vaccinated.
“Pinakamahalaga na magkaroon ng kasagutan kung ano iyong epekto nito, kasi iyong mga magulang ng mga batang nabakunahan… kailangan nilang malaman ano iyong kailangan nilang gawin—kung talagang mayroon itong masamang epekto, ano ba iyong puwedeng gawin para mailigtas naman iyong kanilang mga anak,” she said.
“Kaya tingin ko, as soon as possible, kailangang magkaroon ito ng kasagutan—ano iyong dapat gawin—at iyong mga nagkasala, kailangang panagutin,” she added.
The Department of Health earlier announced the suspension of its dengue immunization program, also ordering the close observation of those who had received the said vaccination, after French pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur disclosed that Dengvaxia could lead to more severe symptoms in people who had not been infected.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the program will be on hold, as the department holds review and consultation with experts, key stakeholders, and the World Health Organization.
According to the DOH, more than 733,000 children, 9 years old and above, from public schools in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and Calabarzon have received at least the first of three doses of the said vaccine.
The Senate and the Department of Justice have announced that they would launch their respective inquiries into the government’s purchase of the vaccine.