Dengue Vaccine Controversy In Philippines Could ‘Erode Public Confidence’ In Country’s Health Endeavors
SciDev.Net: Dengue vaccination: when being the first is a bad idea
Crispin Maslog, founding member and current chair of the Board of the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre
“When the Philippines launched its dengue vaccination program on 4 April 2016, using Sanofi Pasteur’s newly approved ‘Dengvaxia,’ there was great fanfare and optimism. This week, the Public Attorney’s Office has filed a lawsuit against the company, seeking compensation for the death of a 10-year-old girl it says has died as a result of the vaccine. It follows an investigation of the halted program by the Philippine Senate. … [A]s Philippine scientists and politicians fight over the failure of Asia’s first mass dengue vaccination program, the biggest casualty may be people’s trust and confidence in vaccination and other government-led public health programs as an effective way to fight diseases. … The Philippine government could have been more conservative in adopting the new vaccine, especially in this case, since it involves children. … In hindsight, it looks like Filipino children became unwitting guinea pigs in the rush to roll out a new dengue vaccine, with the scientific and health community’s reputation taking a hit as well” (2/6).