MANILA - French drug-maker Sanofi Pasteur denied to lawmakers that its dengue vaccine may cause more severe symptoms if given to those who have not had the disease before, a House leader said Friday.
The House of Representatives' health committee held 3 hearings on the Dengvaxia vaccine from November to December last year. Two other joint inquiries were held with the Cgood governance committee this year over allegations of undue haste, graft and corruption, said Quezon Rep. Angelina Tan.
"On the issue of safety and efficacy, yung lumabas galing sa Sanofi, yun po ay alam na namin, hindi lang nila kino-confirm. In fact, Sanofi denied that claim," said Tan, who chairs the committee on health.
(We tackled the issue of safety and efficacy, which Sanofi revealed, but they did not confirm that. In fact, Sanofi denied that claim.)
A doctor from the state-run Research Institute for Tropical Medicine who testified in the hearings denied that the vaccine could cause severe cases of dengue if given to those who have not had the mosquito-borne illness before.
"Hindi ko po masabi kung nag-kuntsabahan sila but consistent sila sa pagtatanggol," she said.
(I cannot say if they connived, but they were consistent in defending it.)
Sanofi said last week Dengvaxia should not be given to individuals if they have never been infected with dengue since it might lead to more severe symptoms in some cases, prompting the government to halt its sale.
The House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability will reopen its investigation next week. Health Secretary Francisco Duque said he and other officials from the agency would attend the hearings. - with RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News