FILE PHOTO: A logo is seen in front of the entrance at the headquarters French drugmaker Sanofi in Paris October 30, 2014. CREDIT: REUTERS/CHRISTIAN HARTMANN
MANILA, Philippines — The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) said that the French pharmaceutical company, Sanofi Pasteur did not initially disclose the negative effects of Dengvaxia vaccine on people who have not had dengue infection.
“We visited some of the documents of Singapore recently. With their publication, they already announced that it is not to be used for patients who haven’t had dengue,” said FDA Director General Nel Acharade Puno.
“This means they should have had known about it since December 22, 2015, and they should have told the Philippine government that this anti-dengue vaccine cannot be injected to children without prior dengue infection,” added the official.
This has also been the claim of former President Benigno Aquino III in his first appearance in the inquiry of the Lower House on the controversial anti-dengue vaccine.
Aquino explained that he approved the use of the Dengvaxia due to the information he received from Sanofi that the anti-dengue vaccine was safe and approved by the FDA.
The former chief executive sent his condolences to the families of the children whose deaths are being linked to Dengvaxia.
Nevertheless, Aquino said he and his former officials should not be blamed for the incident.
“Dito may dumating na impormasyon noong November 2017. Baliktad sa hinarap sa aming impormasyon noong kami ay nagdedesisyon ,” said Aquino.
(In this case, an information came in November of 2017. It was opposite of the information presented to us when we decided on its approval.)
Aquino also made insinuations about an unnamed individual who, he said, was pretending to be a health expert while examining the alleged victims of Dengvaxia.
“Lalo na po yung isang maingay na ang certification ay tila isang antas lang ang lamang sa nabibiling diploma sa Recto ,” said the former president.
(Especially this one who is too loud, but whose certification seems to be just one rank above a diploma that can be bought in Recto.)
Although the former president did not give a name, Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Acosta defended her forensic expert Dr. Edwin Erfe.
“Siya po ay forensic and medical evidence analysis forensic examiner. May certificate po siya sa Harvard. Hindi naman po mabibili yan talagang paghihirapan mo po yan,” said Acosta.
(He is a forensic and medical evidence analysis forensic examiner. He has a certificate from Harvard that can’t be bought, you must work hard for it.)
In the House inquiry, Department of Health (DOH) Sec. Janette Garin insisted anew that they allowed the use of the Dengvaxia anti-dengue vaccine under the Aquino administration due to the rising number of dengue cases in Regions III, IV-A and National Capital Region (NCR).
“Layunin po ng progama na ito na hindi lang pigilan ang mga namamatay at patuloy na namamatay sa dengue kundi pigilan ang pagkakasit ng dengue,” said Garin.
(This program aims not just at preventing deaths due to dengue but also at stopping stopping dengue fever.)
Incumbent Health Sec. Francisco Duque III meantime seeks for the immediate conclusion of the House inquiry, noting it only created fear among the public against other vaccination programs of the agency.
“Are we ready to have outbreaks of measles, of diphtheria, pertussis, hepatitis, of HPV? I think we have to be mindful of the implications of a very prolonged investigation,” said Duque. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue