- President Rodrigo Duterte wants free treatment to children who received the controversial dengue vaccine
- All public hospitals are required to do this
- Foreign pathologists are also being eyed to analyze the controversial deaths surrounding the vaccine
President Rodrigo Duterte has given the directive that all public hospitals should give free medical services and treatment to kids who received the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine.
This is according to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, who made the announcement on February 9 at a press briefing aired live on Facebook.
Roque said all expenses will be shouldered by the government.
"Sasagutin na po ng gobyerno 'yung halaga ng paggamot doon sa mga naging biktima ng Dengvaxia," said Roque.
The spokesperson added that they are looking into hiring foreign clinical pathologists to study the deaths of children months after being given the dengue vaccine.
"Dahil sa kakulangan ng clinical pathologists dito sa Pilipinas, nagsalita na ang Presidente na kung kinakailangan, kukuha tayo ng mga dayuhang clinical pathologists para pag-aralan kung itong mga kabataang namamatay nga ay namatay dahil sa Dengvaxia vaccine," said Roque.
The spokesperson stressed that parents should still get their children vaccinated, especially with vaccines that have long been implemented by the government.
He also said that the investigation is still ongoing for Dengvaxia.
"Nananawagan po ang Palasyo sa mga nanay at tatay, hindi po lahat ng vaccines ay masama. In fact, ongoing pa po ang imbestigasyon sa Dengvaxia," said Roque.
He added that it is unsafe if the parents would not get their children vaccinated because this could lead to disease outbreaks.
There is already a measles outbreak in Davao City and the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.
A study by the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) showed that only 3 of the 14 deaths being linked to Dengvaxia have causal relation.
This means that they died of dengue despite being vaccinated. Two of the 3 deaths was due to vaccine failure, according to the report.
UP-PGH expert panel head Juliet Sio-Aguilar called on the public not to panic. She stressed that not all reported deaths being linked to Dengvaxia are true.
"Kasi po sa dami ng nabakunahan ng Dengvaxia, talagang meron na normal diseases na mangyayari with or without Dengvaxia," said Aguilar during the Senate inquiry.
The controversy on the Dengvaxia vaccine started on November 29, 2017 when Sanofi Pasteur announced that their clinical analysis showed that the vaccine is more risky for people who have not had dengue before.
The Department of Health suspended the dengue vaccination program on December 1.
More than 700,000 children were vaccinated with Dengvaxia.
Both Congress and the Department of Justice are conducting their own investigations into the controversy.
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