Leachon was part of the then dengue expert panel of the Department of Health(DOH), who strongly opposed the mass vaccination of Dengvaxia.
The doctor argued that those behind the controversy did not follow the policy of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the conduct of a post clinical trial.
In a post clinical trial, the 3,000 test subjects who received the vaccine should undergo observation first for one year before health authorities could approve its use for mass vaccination.
He said that the DOH hastily approved the mass vaccination based on the recommendation of the FDA.
Of the 16 countries that approved Dengvaxia, only the Philippines used it for its mass vaccination program.
Leachon initially opposed before the Lower House of Congress the immediate market launch of Dengvaxia. However, he claimed some lawmakers prevented him from airing his concerns.
These lawmakers were then former congressman and now presidential spokesperson, Harry Roque, Kabayan party-list representative, Ron Salo and SAGIP partylist representative,Rodante Marcoleta.
He said they asked him if he has the permission of the association to speak before Congress, to which he replied, ” Filipino citizen ako (I am a Filipino citizen).”
They then asked about his credentials to participate in the congressional debate which prompted an altercation among them.
On the other hand, Roque denied the allegations of Leachon.
“Wala pong katotohanan ang paratang na pinigil kong tumestigo sa kamara si Dr. Leachon. Unang-una, ako po ay hindi chairman ng committee on health. Chairman lang po ang pwedeng pumigil sa testigo ng kahit sino. Pangalawa, ako po ay naging neophyte o first-termer member ng Kamara wala po ako impluwensya,” he said.
(There is no truth to the accusation that I prevented Dr. Leachon from testifying in Congress. First of all, I was not the chairman of the committee on health. Only the chairman can stop a witness from testifying. Second, I was just a neophyte or first-termer member of Congress. I had no influence.)
Dr. Leachon also questioned the immediate approval of the budget for the said vaccine without, he claimed, undergoing congressional scrutiny.
The Congress normally takes six months to one year before approving such a huge amount. However, in the case of the mass vaccination of Dengvaxia, the approval for its budget took only a few months.
He also noted that the country’s total budget amount for all of its vaccination programs is only three billion pesos.
But the government allocated P3.5 billion for Dengvaxia alone, which Dr. Leachon alleged is one of DOH’s unapproved budget.
“Walang budget yan sa Kongreso (it had no approved budget in Congress),” he said, adding that the money may have been taken from sin taxes.
He also said that based on Budget Secretary Ben Diokno, “Sobra ang budget ng Department of Health sa personnel management. Doon daw kinuha, pero bawal daw yun dahil hindi inaprubahan ng Kongreso.”
(The Department of Health’s budget for personnel management had a surplus. It was allegedly taken from there but that’s not allowed because Congress did not approve it.)
During the term of then DOH Secretary Janet Garin, more than 400,000 were vaccinated with Dengvaxia.
The vaccination program came to a halt during the term of health Secretary Paulyn Ubial.
But after several months, the vaccination program continued, and more than 300,000 children received the controversial vaccine.
Dr. Leachon believes then health Secretary Ubial was pressured to continue the immunization program due to various reasons like her pending confirmation from the Commission on Appointments and the over P1.4 billion worth of Dengvaxia vaccine that was just being stored at that time.
“Grabe ang residual at that time P1.4 billion pa ang naka imbak sa RITM so kailangang gamitin mo…yun ang reasoning. Sinasabi masasayang, tapos yung political pressure,” said the health reform advocate.
(The residual at that time P1.4 billion worth of vaccines were stored at the RITM. So you really need to use it, that’s their reasoning. They were saying it would be a waste not to use it, and then there was the political pressure.)
Dr. Leachon has also expressed concern over a possible white wash in the upcoming congressional investigation on the said issue.
He said that the controversy should not be disregarded since many lives are at risk.
The health reform advocate noted that it is also possible that there will be a fall guy in the said anomaly.
He believes that the anomaly will be addressed if there will no longer be a conflict of interest, saying it is among the major reasons why the problem gets bigger.
Leachon suggested that the separation from each other of the FDA, DOH and the Formulary Executive Council, the agencies responsible for the approval of vaccines.
Dr. Leachon also mentioned the agencies and individuals he believes should be investigated. These include the bids and Awards Committee of DOH, the DOH officials during the term of former President Benigno Aquino III, the dengue expert team of the DOH, Sanofi Pasteur and the FDA.
At the end of the interview, Leachon called on the senators to allow the truth to come out during their conduct of investigation regarding the controversy. — Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue
MANILA, Philippines — Ang mga bakuna na lamang ang kulang upang maisakatuparan na ang vaccination program ng pamahalaan.
Halos lahat ng mga lokal na pamahalaan ay nakapagsagawa na ng mga dry run sa sistemang ipatutupad oras na magsimula ang pagbabakuna.
Tiniyak ng mga ito na wala nang aalalahanin ang publiko dahil libreng ibibigay ang mga bakuna.
Kinakailangan na lamang ang pagpaparehistro sa kanya-kanyang lokal na pamahalaan upang mabakunahan.
Ngunit nagbigay paalala ang mga doktor sa mga dapat gawin ng isang indibidwal upang maihanda ang sarili bago magpabakuna.
Ayon kay Dr. Rontgene Solante, isa sa miembro ng vaccine expert panel ng Department of Health (DOH), mahalaga na maikondisyong mabuti ang pangangatawan ng isang taong tatanggap ng COVID-19 vaccine.
Una, dapat ay may sapat na tulog at nakakain ng maayos ang isang magpapabakuna.
Pangalawa, hindi nakaranas ng pag-ubo o lagnat sa nakalipas na tatlong araw bago ang takdang araw ng pagpapabakuna. Kung may sipon lamang ay maaring maituloy ang pagpapabakuna.
Pangatlo at pinaka-mahalaga sa lahat, dapat ay nakahanda ang kaisipan ng isang magpapabakuna at wala nang anumang agam-agam dahil maaring makaapekto ito sa pisikal na kondisyon.
“Talagang preparahan mo siya. Maganda ang (kalusugan) mo, walang sintomas, walang ubo, walang lagnat at saka ang importante dito ready ka sa pagbabakuna,” payo ng eksperto.
“Tanggalin mo rin ang takot mo dahil sa bakuna, minsan kapag nandoon pa rin ang fear mo o hesitations, baka kapag ini-inject iyan may mga ganoong klaseng kliyente na kapag ini-inject, talagang natatakot. Baka mas lalong mag-manify ang side effects,” dagdag nito.
Paliwanag ni Dr. Solante, normal lamang na magkaroon ng side effects sa isang tao ang kahit anong bakuna.
Payo ng doktor, iwasan na uminom ng anomang gamot upang maibsan ang sakit na mararamdaman pagkatapos na mabakunahan at sa halip ay agad na kumonsulta sa doktor kung kinakailangan.
“Kadalasan kung meron kang lagnat kung sa tingin mo hindi kaya ng katawan mo very uncomfortable for you iinom ka ng Parecetamol. Pero kung kaya naman as much as possible, wala tayong inumin. Uminom lang ng maraming tubig tapos i-monitor,” payo ni Dr. Solante.
“Tapos ang medyo masakit kung saan tinuturok ang bakuna. Usually nawawala iyan within 48 to 72 hours,” dagdag nito.
Nauna nang sinabi ng Food and Drug Administration (FDA) na magkakaiba contraindications ng mga bakuna.
Gaya na lamang ng Pfizer-BioNTech na hindi pwedeng ibigay sa may mga allergy, maging sa mga buntis at breastfeeding mothers.
Ang Astrazeneca naman ay patuloy pang iniimbestigahan ang kaso ng mga elderly na namatay sa Norway matapos na mabakunahan nito.
Habang ang Sinovac ay hindi naman inirerekomenda na gamitin sa mga healthcare workers na madalas ma-expose sa mga pasyenteng may COVID-19. MNP (sa ulat ni Joan Nano)
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday said they would investigate reports on the use of smuggled vaccines against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The DOH issued the statement following the admission of Special Envoy to China Ramon Tulfo that he received coronavirus jabs from China’s Sinopharm, which has not yet been authorized for use in the country.
Tulfo on Tuesday said he got inoculated with illegally procured vaccine last year with some Cabinet officials, a lawmaker and some of President Rodrigo Duterte’s security team.
The DOH warned the public that the use and distribution of smuggled vaccine is illegal.
“Ito po ay makakasama sa imbestigasyon and all of these things kapag nakita natin na hindi naayon sa mga batas na meron tayo dito sa ating bansa will be considered illegal,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a virtual briefing.
“Kung sinoman po yung mga kababayan natin, distributors or suppliers na nagbibigay ng mga bakuna na wala pang emergency use authority ay magkakaroon ng appropriate investigation and if there would be violations, magkaka-sanctions po,” she added.
Vergeire also stressed that vaccines need to undergo regulation and secure emergency use authorization (EUA) to ensure its safety and efficacy.
FDA Director General Eric Domingo said Sinopharm has yet to file an application for an EUA.
“As of now, wala pa pong nag-a-apply sa amin. ‘Yung Chinese Government, sumulat po sila kay Secretary (Carlito) Galvez informing him na wala silang local na distributor dito at hindi ko alam kung ano ang kanilang magiging applications po and strategy,” Domingo said.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, meanwhile, said that Malacañang will leave the investigation on the issue to the FDA.
He, however, stressed that taking illegally procured COVID-19 vaccines is not a policy of the Duterte administration.
“Wala pong ganiyang polisiya dahil kung may ganiyan pong polisiya, siguro commercial quantity na ang kumalat noong mga bakuna na hindi naaprubahan. Pero inaantay po talaga natin ang aksiyon ng FDA sa mga bagay-bagay na ito,” Roque said.
To recall, some members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) were revealed to have taken unauthorized coronavirus vaccine shots in December.
The FDA and the National Bureau of Investigation are undertaking separate investigations into the matter.
Domingo said the PSG has yet to respond to FDA’s inquiry into their illegal inoculation. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – Nilinaw ng Food and Drug Administration (FDA) na maaari pa rin namang gamitin ang Sinovac vaccines sa healthcare workers dahil may maibibigay pa rin naman itong proteksiyon para sa mga hindi exposed o walang contact sa mga pasyenteng may COVID-19.
Ginawa ni FDA Director General Eric Domingo ang paglilinaw matapos nitong ihayag noong Lunes na hindi inirerekomenda sa healthcare workers na exposed sa COVID-19 patients ang Sinovac dahil nasa 50.4% lamang ang efficacy rate nito batay sa resulta ng pagsusuri sa bansang Brazil.
“Recommendation lamang naman yun halimabawa ayaw na niyang hintayin yung ibang bakuna and then willing naman siya to take the vaccine knowing na ang possible efficacy nito sa situation mo is 50% and you’d rather take it now rather than 1 or 2 months from now kung kelan darating yung bakuna pwede naman yun. Hindi naman namin sya ipinagbabawal na gamitin,” ang pahayag ni Domingo.
Paliwanag ni Domingo, bumababa ang bisa ng bakuna kapag madalas na nakakasalamuha ng isang tao ang pasyenteng may COVID-19.
“Ang tao naman kasi iba iba ang situation natin, iba iba rin ang ating suceptibility, saka iba iba yung exposure natin, so depende po yan sa situation. Maaring mas bumaba ang efficacy ng isang vaccine kung tayo ay nasa situation talagang nasa harap natin araw araw yung covid virus, at the exposure is continuous and at high level,” ang paliwanag ng opisyal.
“Maaaring kahit mabakunahan ka ng first dose pero hindi ka pa nakaka-mount ng enough response to ward off yung infection kasi nga masyadong regular iyong exposure sa to the covid-19 virus,” dagdag pa niya.
Binigyang-diin din ng pinuno ng FDA na bagaman naghihintay pa rin na maipalathala ang mga datos ukol sa clinical trial ng Sinovac ay may mga sapat namang batayan para masegurong ligtas itong gamitin.
Posible rin aniyang mapalawak pa ang grupo o edad na pwedeng tumanggap ng naturang bakuna dahil hindi pa tapos ang ginagawa ritong clinical trial.
Tiniyak din ni Domingo na maaari pang marebisa ang mga probisyon sa ibinigay na emergency use authorization ng Pilipinas para sa Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Joan Nano)
UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.