Sen. JV Ejercito calls for probe on DOH’s procurement of dengue vaccine

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• Sen. JV Ejercito urged the Senate to conduct a probe on DOH’s purchase of dengue vaccine
• Sen. Richard Gordon said the previous Aquino administration purchased billions worth of Dengvaxia when it was not yet ready for distribution
• The manufacturer of Dengvaxia disclosed that the vaccine poses risk of severe disease to individuals not previously infected by dengue virus

A day after pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur disclosed that Dengvaxia, the world’s first dengue vaccine, poses risk of severe disease to individuals who have not been previously infected by dengue virus, Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito urged the Senate to conduct an investigation to the Department of Health’s (DOH) purchase of the vaccine.

“That should be investigated by Blue Ribbon Committee as primary, with Committee on Health as secondary committee since it’s about corruption and accountability,” Ejercito said via Twitter on Thursday, November 30.

Senator Richard Gordon, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, said the DOH under the previous administration of President Benigno Aquino III procured billions worth of Dengvaxia when it was not yet ready for distribution.

As mentioned in an earlier Kicker Daily News article, the Philippines is the 1st country in Asia to approve the vaccine for individuals aged 9 and 45 years old in December 2015. The vaccine was to be administered in three phases at a 6-month interval.

During the first phase, 491,990 9-year-old students were vaccinated. 415,681 turned up for the second phase, while data is still being collated to determine how many children completed the third phase of the vaccination.

Independent Health Advocate Dr. Anthony Leachon said some of those who were vaccinated will develop severe dengue.

“It means some of them will develop severe dengue, we don’t know who. All of them will have to live with this possibility for the rest of their lives,” Dr. Leachon said.