Philippines Dengue Vaccine Campaign Begun In Good Faith, President Duterte Says; Former President Aquino Defends Decision To Implement Program

Philippine Star: No one to blame for dengue vaccine mess — Duterte
“President Duterte is not passing judgment on anyone with regard to the Dengvaxia vaccine mess but is hopeful that the truth about the controversy will come out. This developed as former president Benigno Aquino III said he would face the Senate probe into the controversy, to present the truth and promote a ‘sober discussion’ leading to the crafting of ‘appropriate actions’ on the issue…” (Romero/Calica, 12/14).

Reuters: Philippines’ Duterte says dengue campaign carried out in ‘good faith’
“…The campaign was started by Duterte’s predecessor, Benigno Aquino, who approved the use of 3.5 billion pesos ($69 million) in savings in 2016 to buy millions of doses of Dengvaxia, the world’s first approved vaccine against the mosquito-borne virus. The campaign was halted on Dec. 1, after the vaccine maker, French drug firm Sanofi, said Dengvaxia’s use was to be strictly limited due to evidence it could worsen the disease in people who had not previously been exposed to the virus…” (Lema, 12/13).

Reuters: Former Philippine President defends controversial dengue program
“Former Philippine President Benigno Aquino defended on Thursday his decision to implement a controversial immunization program using a new dengue vaccine in 2016, saying it was justified with millions of people at risk of being infected by the virus. … Two Philippine congressional inquiries have begun and a criminal investigation has also been launched to determine how the danger to public health came about…” (Lema, 12/14).

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