PH counts cost of dengue vaccine mess

Kat Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 15 2017 11:14 AM | Updated as of Dec 15 2017 11:54 AM

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The government may tap the President's social fund should Filipino children who were given a dose of the dengue vaccine develop severe cases of disease, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Friday.

PhilHealth may cover about P8,000 to P10,000 for mild dengue cases, while a P16,000 coverage may be granted to those who will contract severe dengue, Duque said.

"Puwedeng hingin na yan sa social fund ng presidente," Duque said in an interview on DZMM when asked if the government has funds to cover hospitalization of those who contract severe dengue after vaccination. 

In 2016, the government procured P3.5 billion worth of Dengvaxia vaccines for 1 million Filipino public school students.

Last month, French drug maker Sanofi Pasteur announced that administering the vaccine to those who never had dengue may lead to "more severe cases."

As of November, Dengvaxia was given to at least 800,000 Filipino children under the government's expanded vaccination program.

The Department of Health has stopped its program and has ordered the pullout of Denvaxia vaccines from the market.

The Department of Justice has launched a probe on the vaccine procurement to see if Sanofi should be liable and fined for the vaccine's risks.