MANILA, Feb 26 (Mabuhay) — Former President Benigno Aquino III on Monday admitted that if he was still the chief executive, he would have also suspended the government’s dengue vaccination program.
Aquino made the statement considering French pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur’s advisory in November 2017 on the supposed dangers of the Dengvaxia vaccine.
At the joint hearing of the House Committees on Good Government and Public Accountability and Health, Aquino noted that there was a change in what Sanofi Pasteur had promised in developing the controversial vaccine and its statement in November 2017.
“Merong briefer na binigay sa akin sa pag-aaral sa isyung ito, at doon nakalagay na kaya dinevelop ‘yung vaccine na good for all serotypes ay dahil nga ‘yung posibilidad na mas malalang impeksyon kapag na-impeksyon ka ng ibang strain after nu’ng una,” he said.
“Ang pangako nung Sanofi, ginawa nila ‘yung apat para sigurado na nga na mawala na ‘yung risk na mas malalang impeksyon,” he added.
However, Aquino said that come November 2017, Sanofi Pasteur advised against prescribing Dengvaxia to patients who have not acquired the dengue virus before due to the severe diseases it may cause in the long run.
“Nu’ng November 2017, sinasabi nila kapag nagkaroon ka ng vaccination na ito, tila hindi pa rin in-induce ‘yung katawan mo para mag-produce ng antibodies tapos parang wala kang proteksyon,” he said.
“Parang baliktad na baliktad doon sa sinabi nilang una. At ‘yun ang gusto kong malaman kung bakit,” he added.
This supposed change of statements, Aquino said, could be a ground for the suspension of the dengue vaccination program, which used Dengvaxia.
“Kung hindi po maganda ang dahilan, kung ako ang namamahala pa, sa dudang ‘yun, sa baliktaran, talagang dapat ihinto dahil hindi kaalinsunod doon sa deka-dekada nilang sinasabing mga pagsusuri at mga resultang ipinakita,” he said.
Aquino was invited to the House panel hearing as it was under his administration that the dengue vaccination program was implemented.
Following the Dengvaxia anomaly, the Department of Health in December 2017 put on hold the dengue vaccination program. (MNS)