DOH seeks refund on Dengvaxia purchase

A national immunization program manager, shows an anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia inside a vaccine storage room in Sta. Cruz city, Metro Manila, Philippines December 4, 2017. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

The Department of Health plans to ask for a refund on the Php3.5 billion it spent from acquiring the anti-dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia from french pharmaceutical company, Sanofi Pasteur.

This came as the department’s statement after Sanofi revealed the harm associated with its vaccine. According to the DOH, it will also be weighing on the possible legal charges it can launch against the pharmaceutical company.

According to Health Sec. Francisco Duque, there remains some Php 1.5 million worth of dengue vaccines that the agency has yet to use due to the suspension of its program.

Duque asserted that the DOH will be taking the needed measures to retrieve the fund used by the government for the vaccination program as soon as Dengvaxia is proven to be the root cause of the severe symptoms felt by its receivers.

The agency also plans on administering a mandatory surveillance on the students that were administered with Dengvaxia. Duque explained that the monitoring will last for five years even if the children do not exhibit symptoms of dengue.

The dengue vaccination program was implemented during the stint of then-Health Secretary Janette Garin in April 2016.

Since then, over 730,000 Filipino children have been given the said vaccine.

On Wednesday, the World Health Organization denied that it gave the Philippines the recommendation to use the vaccine Dengvaxia in its national immunization program.

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