MANILA- The Philippine government is open to the idea of making the controversial dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia, available again in the market as long as there is enough proof that the drug will benefit Filipinos.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the government should consider making Dengvaxia available to the public anew if there are enough findings to support its effectivity and safety.
“We’re always open to anything that will benefit the Filipino people. We’re not closed to any suggestion,” Panelo told reporters on Wednesday.
“If the weight of the findings show that there is benefit in using Dengvaxia against dengue then certainly government should consider it,” he said.
In December 2017, the government recalled Dengvaxia after its manufacturer, France's Sanofi-Pasteur, said it could cause severe symptoms if given to those who have not had the mosquito-borne disease.
The vaccine recall triggered a public health scare which resulted in a drop of vaccination rate in the Philippines.
Several cases have also been filed over the deaths of some who were injected with Dengvaxia, but it has not been established whether the fatalities were caused by the vaccine.
Last week, former Health Secretary and now Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin urged the Department of Health to make the vaccine available in the country anew amid the rising number of dengue cases.
She was among those who faced the nationally televised hearings on Dengvaxia, which was given to some 830,000 school children during the term of former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.