Health Sectary Francisco Duque III lambasted the officials of French-based pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur, the manufacturer of the contentious Dengvaxia, for not revealing the potential risks of the dengue vaccine early on.
“They are dishonest about the risks of Dengvaxia,” Duque said before the Senate investigation into the government’s dengue immunization program.
Duque slammed Sanofi, saying they had not been “forthright from the very beginning.”
Sanofi’s post-clinical analysis released on November 29 found out the vaccine is effective for individuals who have had dengue before immunization, emphasizing the risk of a “severe” dengue case for people who have not.
“Dengvaxia provides persistent protective benefits against dengue in those who has prior infection. For those not previously infected by dengue virus, however, more cases of severe disease could occur following vaccination upon a subsequent dengue infection,” Sanofi Pasteur said in its statement.
“Now my index of suspicion is so high. I am pregnant with doubt,” he said.
“We should not allow this. We’re talking about the lives of people here. We’re talking about the lives of our children,” Duque added.
Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already directed Sanofi to suspend the sale and distribution of the dengue vaccine.
FDA also called on the public to partake in the “post-marketing surveillance of Dengvaxia” by reporting any incident that shows the dengue vaccine has led to death, serious illness, or injury of a patient.
Over 733,000 students from public schools in Metro Manila, Central Luzon and Calabarzon, nine-year-old and above, have received at least the first of three doses of the vaccine.
Dr. Antonio Leachon, an independent doctor from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), said in an interview on ABS-CBN’s Umagang Kay Ganda that 90,000 of vaccinated individuals are at risk.