Dengvaxia vaccine, photo from Inquirer
According to a former undersecretary of the Department of Health, the department's Formulary Executive Council did not give the go-signal for the government's purchase of P3.5 billion worth of Dengvaxia vaccine.

The vaccine was administered to 733,000 school children since April of last year, and following the death of two of the children given the dose, the drug's manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur announced that the drug  was found to aggravate the effects of Dengue on a person.

Meanwhile, the administration of President Benigno Aquino III is being blamed for the situation, many alleging that several health experts and officials were against it, as the effects of the drugs were yet to be certified.

"Ang Formulary Executive Committee ng DOH simula't sapul tutol sila dito. They did not want to use Dengvaxia on a mass scale," former DOH undersecretary Susan Mercado said in an Unang Balita interview.

She said that panel had also denied the request then of the DOH leadership, under former secretary Janette Garin, for "exceptional approval for one year only."

When the panel finally agreed on the purcyhase of the drug, it reccomended that ut be done in a stage procurement.

It also advised the government against purchasing the drug in a bulk, yet 3.5 billion was spent on the drug last year.

Mercado, however, clarified that "license to sell is different from the approval for the government to buy it."

The World Health Organization had said that it did not recommend the use of Dengvaxia.

Mercado added that the purchase of the drug under Aquino was a "scam" because it did not go through the required government processes.

Mercado said in the interview by GMA News, that the immunization program was launched without the schoolchildren's parents and health workers being given the proper information on Dengvaxia.

"I hope it was not intentional, there was not enough information. Pumayag ang mga nanay na pabakunahan ang kanilang mga anak dahil ang alam nila ito ay proteksyon laban sa dengue. Ang totoo niyan, ang bakunang Dengvaxia hindi naman masama iyan. However, you have to use it properly. Kailangan gamitin mo ito sa batang nagkaroon na ng dengue," she said.

Aso of the moment, the Department of Health and the Department of Justice are investigating on the matter.

The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, which requested the DOJ to investigate the dengue vaccine deal, had claimed receiving reports of at least three deaths of children who were vaccinated with Dengvaxia.


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DOH council did not give go signal for Dengvaxia -former Health Usec DOH council did not give go signal for Dengvaxia -former Health Usec Reviewed by FN Correspondent on 06 December Rating: 5

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