Senate set to tackle DOH procurement of dengue vaccine

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 10 2017 01:53 PM | Updated as of Dec 11 2017 10:56 AM

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MANILA - The Senate is set to open on Monday a probe into the Department of Health's (DOH) purchase of dengue vaccine Dengvaxia that spurred a health scare in the country. 

Senator JV Ejercito, chairman of the committee on Health and Demography, said the hearing would focus first on how the dengue vaccine was procured from French drug maker Sanofi Pasteur. 

"It's not a question of legality. Ito'y question of whether is it ethical or not. Kasi kumbaga, Philippine government ang nag-procure. Pero bakit kinakilangang magusap sila prior to the procurement," he told DZMM Sunday. 

Former Health Secretary Janette Garin earlier admitted to meeting with officials of Sanofi in Paris in 2015 to discuss the dengue vaccine. But she clarified that there was no malice in the meeting. 

She also explained that discussion on the dengue vaccine did not start during her term but began as early as 2010 during the time of her predecessor Enrique Ona. 

Meanwhile, Ejercito said the issue of public health will also be discussed during the probe if there will be resource persons credible enough to give their expert opinion on the matter.

More than 800,000 kids have been vaccinate with Dengvaxia the DOH procured from Sanofi for around using P3.5 billion worth of public funds .

"Hindi lang public fund ang concerned; now it's public health dahil nga dun sa almost 800,00 na nabakunahan," said the senator.