SENATOR Risa Hontiveros said Sanofi Pasteur must compensate the children affected by Dengavaxia aside from its plan to reimburse the Philippine government the cost of the unused dengue vaccine.
While she welcomes the French firm’s move to reimburse the cost of the unused doses of Dengvaxia, Hontiveros said that the “ethical response is for Sanofi to do more.”
“Reimbursement is not enough. Over and above its plan to pay back the government for unused Dengvaxia vials, I call on Sanofi to shoulder the health needs of the affected children and compensate their families,” she said.
The Philippines implemented a national school-based, anti-dengue immunization program in 2016 using Dengvaxia. Over 700,000 Grade 4 students (at least 9 years old) in Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and the National Capital Region have been given the dengue vaccine.
Under the Duterte administration, the program was expanded to Region 7. Children aged nine to 14 in Cebu province were administered the first dose of the vaccine. Of the total number, health officials said that 70,000 were at risk.
Hontiveros said that Sanofi “should bear all the legal and ethical responsibilities that have resulted from the firm’s negligence. The cost after all, is more than just money.”
“Even pending the result of the evaluation by medical experts on whether or not the deaths were caused by Dengvaxia, it is clear that Sanofi, of its own admission, is guilty of implementing an immunization program that could do more harm than good to our children,” she said. BERNADETTE E. TAMAYO