Press Release
December 1, 2015


Concerned over the health of close to .5-million schoolchildren administered with Dengvaxia, Senator Richard J. Gordon was alarmed by reports that manufacturer Sanofi has admitted that the dengue vaccine poses risks.

Gordon, chairman of the Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers & Investigations or Blue Ribbon, said an official of the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the vaccine had not been given pre-qualification approval as it had not yet been tested on at least 200 children first, at the time it was procured by the administration of then President Benigno Aquino III.

"This admission by Sanofi that the Dengvaxia poses risks shows that when the Aquino administration procured it and the DOH (Department of Health) proceeded to inoculate 280,000 children initially, the vaccine was not yet ready for distribution. Now we have the evidence on that," the senator said.

"Before we conducted an investigation on the anomalous procurement of this vaccine, we talked to several health experts and they told us that they had already warned government long before about the possible adverse effect of the new drug on individuals with no prior history of dengue. With this admission by Sanofi, they have been proven right. The safety of the children vaccinated is paramount here," he added.

Sanofi, manufacturer of the world's first dengue vaccine, has admitted the drug may be harmful when administered to individuals not previously infected with dengue.

It admitted that a new analysis of long-term clinical trial data on the said vaccine showed that Dengvaxia provides persistent protective benefits against dengue fever in those who had prior infection. However, for those not previously infected by dengue virus, more cases of severe disease could occur following vaccination upon a subsequent dengue infection.

After delivering a privilege speech last year condemning what appears to be a midnight deal of the Aquino administration, Gordon filed a resolution calling for an inquiry on the anomalous procurement of the Dengvaxia vaccine.

Gordon pointed out that while there was no question on the need to take preventive measures against dengue, there was a need to question the apparent railroading in the procurement process and why the DOH immediately started inoculating schoolchildren even before the issuance by the WHO of the pre-qualification guidelines.

The resolution was referred to the Blue Ribbon Committee and it started conducting an investig ation into the issue. The investigation is still ongoing.

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