Aquino: Dengvaxia passed local, int'l checks


Posted at Dec 14 2017 12:35 PM

Aquino: Dengvaxia passed local, int'l checks 1
Former President Benigno Aquino III discusses with former Budget Secretray Florencio abad during the senate inquiry on December 14, 2017 on the Department of Health's dengue immunization program and the procurement of the Dengvaxia vaccine from Sanofi Pasteur. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Former president Benigno Aquino III on Thursday said dengue vaccine Dengvaxia passed local and international processes to ensure its efficacy and safety before it was used in his administration's immunization program.

"Sinabi sa atin noon na ready na ang Sanofi sa bakuna. Yung ganitong uri ng gamot maraming taon inaabot ang development para masiguro talaga ang efficacy at lalo na ang safety," he said during a Senate investigation into the immunization program.

"Ang intindi natin sa Dengvaxia, natapos na ang local and international processes nito."

(We were told that Sanofi's vaccine was ready. These types of drug take years to develop to ensure their efficacy and safety. Our understanding of Dengvaxia was that it completed local and international processes.)

The Philippines has suspended the dengue vaccination program after French drug maker Sanofi disclosed that the vaccine may cause more severe symptoms on those who had not been previously infected by the mosquito-borne disease.

The vaccine went through the 5-step approval processes by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before it was used in the program that inoculated some 830,000 public school students, said Aquino.

"Paliwanag sa akin, ang US FDA ang nagre-regulate sa international clinical trials. Dahil dumaan sa ganitong mga proseso, ang alam natin, safe na ang Dengvaxia para sa tao," Aquino said.

(It was explained to me that US FDA regulates international clinical trials. Because it passed these processes, we knew that Dengvaxia was safe for humans.)

Mexico and Brazil, he said, also approved the drug.

"Bago nagdesisyon ang gobyerno sa Dengvaxia, habang nagdedesiyon at maski pagkatapos magdesisyon, wala pong nagparating sa akin ng pagtutol sa naturang bakuna," he added.

(Before the government decided regarding Dengvaxia, while it was deciding and after it decided, no one approached me with opposition against the said vaccine)

Some 2.8 million Filipinos were at risk of contacting dengue before the Dengvaxia deal, according to a 2010 memo from then health secretary Enrique Ona, Aquino said.

He added that the vaccine was administered to Metro Manila, Central Luzon and Calabarzon because these had the highest number of dengue cases, not because they were vote-rich areas.