THE head of the Senate blue ribbon committee on Wednesday appealed to parents not to lose trust in the immunization program of the government amid the fear and anxiety caused by the controversy surrounding the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.
At the resumption of the Senate investigation, Sen. Richard Gordon insisted that there were still other vaccines that have been proven effective in protecting children against other diseases.
He said parents should not allow the Dengvaxia scare affect their views on other vaccines that have been given to children for several decades.
“The public needs to understand that immunization is not bad, especially those that have been there for so many years. I am pro-immunization,” the blue ribbon committee chairman said.
He said parents should still have their children immunized, especially against measles and polio.
“We have to trust the DoH (Department of Health) because there is no other government agency in charge of looking after the health of the people,” he said.
Gordon lamented that the Philippines has become a laboratory for experimenting vaccines.
“If Europe doesn’t allow it, why would the Philippines use it? Allow one experimental vaccine to be used? On a massive scale?” Gordon said.
“We have become guinea pigs. Laboratory rats,” Gordon said.
“Bakit kayo mag mamass-immunization na walang prescription? Na walang doktor? (Why would you conduct a mass immunization program without appropriate prescription? Without doctors?” Gordon asked.
“Kung nagawa yan, may liability ang gobyerno. Tama ba?” (If this was implemented, then the government is liable, right?), Gordon added.
The dengue vaccination program started in 2016, with 837,000 children being immunized.
Present in the hearing were former Health secretaries Janette Garin and Paulyn Ubial; and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III; doctors and officials from Sanofi Pasteur, the manufacturer of Dengvaxia, and representatives of the parents of the children who were given the anti-dengue vaccine. JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA, ALEC NALDO