By LESLIE ANN G. AQUINO
Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos said the fear of sickness and death now prevail in Bataan due to the controversial Dengvaxia.
The prelate likened the atmosphere in the province to the infamous "Bataan Death March" as another individual from his diocese died reportedly due to the anti-dengue vaccine.
"It is with great sorrow and tragic loss that there is again another life perished, Alexander Jayme, because of disastrous Dengvaxia," he said in a statement.
"The dubious and disgraced Dengvaxia casts unending anxieties and worries to our people, especially to the parents of vaccinated children," added Santos.
It is for this reason, he said that the Senate should continue its probe on the Php 3.5 billion anti-dengue vaccine and ferret out the truth behind the mess.
"Truth must come out. There could be deception and dishonesty. There could be conspiracy and corruption, with the higher-ups motivated by greed, profit and political interests at the expense of our innocent children," said Santos.
He expressed hope that the investigation would result in "unbiased" and "truthful" results for the sake of the children who were vaccinated.
"Prosecute and punish the guilty. Don’t forget and don’t abandon our vaccinated children," Santos said.
He stressed that children must always be protected and their future secured.
Dengavaxia manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur, earlier disclosed that the vaccine provides protective benefit against dengue fever among those who had prior infection; but that those not previously infected by dengue virus may have severe disease following a subsequent dengue infection.
And although the Department of Health (DOH) already suspended its school-based dengue immunization program, more than 800,000 children were already given Dengvaxia shots.