Aquino laments distrust in DOH after Dengvaxia scare

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 26 2019 10:32 PM

MANILA - Former President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday insisted that his critics were using false information about the Dengvaxia vaccine “just to get back” at him.

At a forum in Makati, Aquino said that while the vaccine can result in severe dengue for some people, the actual number was extremely low. 

“Dulo nun, 16.7 persons of the 837,000 who got vaccinated might get a version of the severe dengue,” he said, after calculating the probability given by Sanofi, the company that manufactured the vaccine. 

Aquino also questioned the expertise of the person who did an autopsy on the supposed victims of Dengvaxia. 

“This expert of theirs, nag-online course,” he said, explaining that an American news show already did an exposé on the school that the supposed expert went to. The school has since been shut down.

“Ito bang nagsasalitang tinatakot kayo, may K? Eh kung walang K, bakit nyo pinapakinggan?” Aquino said.

The former president also lamented the result of the alleged political campaign against him. 

“The effect was to destroy the credibility of our primary agency that protects the health of the people,” Aquino said, referring to the high number of measles cases caused by parents refusing to have their children vaccinated.

“Even deworming is refused already,” he added.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III has urged parents to have their children immunized, following the measles outbreak in several areas in the country.

Duque said that low trust in the government's immunization drive may be attributed to anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.

President Rodrigo Duterte has also urged Filipinos to fight measles by getting their children vaccinated following the big increase in the number of measles cases and deaths in the country.

For January 1 to February 9, 2019, some 4,300 individuals, got infected with measles with 70 deaths, said Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo. In the National Capital Region alone, there were 575 cases with 9 deaths.