DOH welcomes probe by foreign experts of vaccine problem

Published May 9, 2018, 5:27 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Analou De Vera

The Department of Health (DOH) said that they welcome the three-man Dengvaxia panel which was ordered to be created by President Duterte.

“We welcome the policy statement of the President to invite foreign experts from neighboring ASEAN countries. This is a directive that must be respected and fully complied with,” said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Wednesday.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III (AP Photo/Aaron Favila / MANILA BULLETIN)
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III
(AP Photo/Aaron Favila / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Tuesday said the President would invite foreign pathologists in the country to clarify the conflicting findings from the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) and the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) in relation to the Dengvaxia vaccine controversy.

Duque said that during the recent Cabinet meeting, he had presented the department’s ongoing effort on the controversy.

He also added that he has

requested both Congress and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to allocate to the DOH the refunded P1.16 billion from Sanofi Pasteur.

“We have sent letters to lawmakers to allocate to the Department the refunded P1.16 billion by Sanofi. The DOH will use the fund to establish the Dengvaxia Assistance Program,” Duque said.

Duque said the health department continues to address the health concerns of the children inoculated with Dengvaxia through heightened surveillance, provision of medical assistance, school-based and community monitoring and by visiting hospitals to ensure that Dengue fast lanes are institutionalized.

“Our central office and regional offices covered by the Immunization Program immediately set up a 24/7 hotline or Public Assistance Dengue Desk. We also directed our government hospitals to establish Dengue/Dengvaxia Fast Lanes to give priority to those Dengvaxia vaccinees needing medical attention,” he said.

Read more: Panel of experts to verify dengvaxia deaths – Palace