Aquino should attend probe on dengue vaccine: health chief

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 07 2017 10:41 AM | Updated as of Dec 07 2017 11:40 AM

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MANILA - Former President Benigno Aquino III should attend next week's legislative inquiry on the P3.4 billion dengue vaccination program approved during his term, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said Thursday.

"The President should himself come forward and say, ‘This is what happened and this is what I agreed to based on sound recommendation that I thought, I followed because somebody advised me,'” Duque told ANC's Headstart.

He added that Aquino's appearance before the lawmakers will be "for his own good."

The Senate and the House of Representatives will launch separate investigations into Dengvaxia, the Sanofi Pasteur-made dengue vaccine that has since been pulled out from the market after the drug company admitted it could lead to "more cases of severe disease" if administered to those who have not the mosquito-borne illness before.

Former Health Secretary Janette Garin in January 2016 announced the free vaccination of students aged 9 years old and above in high endemic areas, a month after Aquino met with Sanofi officials in Paris.

Garin has said she is willing to face the consequences for her involvement in the dengue vaccination program.