Even if they meant well: Palace says past admin must be held accountable for dengue vaccine mess

Image from Malacanang
  • Palace said past admin officials responsible for Dengvaxia should still be held accountable
  • Presidential communications secretary stressed that Filipinos must not be made guinea pigs
  • He also said they will seek a refund from Sanofi Pasteur for the defective vaccines

MANILA, Philippines  –  Malacañang Palace said that officials of the former administration who were liable for the mess caused by Dengvaxia should be held accountable even if they purchased and administered the dengue vaccine out of good intentions.

“What is important here is…those who should be accountable should be accountable. The 800,000 people who received the vaccine is no joke. Even if the government meant well, let’s say the past administration, but there must be accountability,” the Philippine Star quoted Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar as saying.

Andanar stressed that sanctions must be meted out so that the Filipino people will not be have to experience a similar treatment again.

“If in the future, there is a mistake in the purchase of vaccines for dengue or other ailments, nobody will be accountable? That can’t be. Filipinos are not guinea pigs, right?” he said.

Andanar also announced that the government will seek a refund from Sanofi Pasteur for the remaining unused vials.

“We still have unused vials. They have to be refunded. Whether we refund the used ones will be the point of contention of the Department of Health and Sanofi because 700,000 to 800,000 people have received Dengvaxia,” he said. “We do not know if Sanofi will agree to a refund because they have their own arguments.”

Former president Benigno Aquino III defended the multi-billion purchase of Dengvaxia during the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee’s hearing on the controversy; saying it was done regularly and in good faith at the time.