Malacañang on Sunday vowed to carry out an exhaustive investigation into the dengue vaccination anomaly and punish those behind it.
Palace spokesman Harry Roque said the Department of Health and the Department of Education will monitor the condition of the hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren who had received injections of Dengvaxia, the world’s first anti-dengue vaccine.
“We will leave no stone unturned in making those responsible for this shameless public health scam, which put hundreds of thousands of young lives at risk, accountable,” Roque said.
The Health department announced on Friday it was suspending the dengue immunization program after Sanofi Pasteur, the maker of Dengvaxia, said the vaccine could cause a more severe case of dengue in the long term if injected into people who have had no prior infection.
The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption had asked authorities to thoroughly investigate the anomaly.
The Department of Justice, as well as Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, chairman of the Senate health committee, said they will also conduct a probe into the P3.5 billion anti-dengue vaccination program initiated during the term of former President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
Roque said the DoH has not reported any case of dengue infection among those who received the vaccine last year.
“Our present health officials are serious in carrying out their mandate to always guard the health and physical well-being of our people, which includes intensifying surveillance and evaluation of our dengue vaccination program,” Roque said.
At the same time, the Palace official called on the public not to spread any false information that may cause “undue alarm.”
“We understand the concern of our people, especially the parents and the relatives of public elementary children residing in Regions III (Central Luzon), IV-A (Calabarzon), and NCR (Metro Manila), where the dengue vaccination initiative was launched by the previous administration,” Roque said.