By Charissa M. Luci-Atienza
As the brewing Dengvaxia controversy continues, a Manila congresswoman batted yesterday to remove the power of the secretary of the Department of Health (DOH) to determine what vaccines the state will purchase and which diseases are vaccine-preventable.
Manila 5th District Representative Cristal Bagatsing sought the passage of House Bill 7451 which will repeal the discretionary power of the DOH secretary to augment the list of vaccine-preventable diseases in the mandatory basic immunization program.
“The bill seeks to remove in the list the power of secretary to add in the list which in his or her wisdom that a certain vaccine be administered to infants and children,” Bagatsing said. “This power should be decided in Congress. Experience shows in dengue controversy that the decision making should not be left to one person.”
Republic 10152 covers the mandatory basic immunization for all infants.
HB 7451 provides that the mandatory basic immunization for all infants and children provided under the proposed Act shall cover the following vaccine-preventable diseases: tuberculosis; diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis; poliomyelitis; measles; mumps; rubella or German measles; hepatitis B and H influenza type B (HIB).