Enrique Ona, Well being Secretary from June 2010 to December 2014, says that regardless of ‘excessive hopes’ for the vaccine, they didn’t embody it within the authorities’s program because it was underneath its ‘developmental’ stage
MANILA, Philippines – Former well being secretary Enrique Ona positioned the blame over the dengue vaccine controversy on the “management that took over” the Division of Well being after he left in 2014.
“Within the mild of the Sanofi Pasteur advisory on the usage of the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia, the management that took over the DOH [Department of Health] after I left in December 20, 2014 is solely answerable for all the choices that has resulted in what’s changing into to be a serious well being nightmare within the nation right now,” Ona stated in a press release launched Saturday, December 9.
His successor on the helm of the DOH was Janette Garin, who’s at present underneath the highlight for green-lighting the anti-dengue vaccination program value P3.5 billion, and focused schoolchildren in three pilot areas.
The assertion was in response to Garin’s alleging that talks regarding the now-controversial vaccine began during Ona’s time because the nation’s chief well being enforcer.
Ona, within the assertion, stated that in his time period as DOH chief from June 2010 to December 2014, Sanofi Pasteur “virtually yearly” requested to temporary him on the standing of the medical trials on a dengue vaccine they have been growing.
He stated that it was of “nice curiosity” to him and that he had “excessive hopes” for the vaccine, however all through his time on the DOH, Sanofi “by no means claimed that the vaccine was prepared for basic use.”
The pharma firm, Ona stated, “solely gave a obscure projection to me of the time when it might be prepared for launching.”
The previous well being chief recalled mentioning the “potential” vaccine to then President Benigno Aquino III, however they didn’t allocate any cash for it within the 2016 price range because it was what Ona nonetheless thought of as underneath its “developmental” stage.
Ona stated he first heard of the DOH’s plan to buy the dengue vaccine – which on the time was already given the identify Dengvaxia – in 2016.
He stated that the quantity allotted for the vaccine was “an quantity greater than all the price range for all different vaccines being procured by the DOH yearly.”
Citing a 2015 research on the then-candidate dengue vaccine, Ona stated that any knowledgeable on drugs or public well being “would have made one look forward to extra observe up research to additional consider the security and efficacy” of the remedy.
The controversy surrounding the anti-dengue vaccine program broke out on December 1, after the DOH suspended the program following an advisory from Sanofi Pasteur that acknowledged the drug might trigger extra extreme dengue whether it is administered to an individual who had no prior dengue an infection. (READ: Sanofi: Dengvaxia not guaranteed to prevent dengue)
Till this system’s suspension, 830,000 Filipino kids, plus one other 15,000 police and their dependents, and different civilians, got doses of the vaccine. (TIMELINE: Dengue immunization program for public school students)
The DOH already confirmed 12-year-old child in Tarlac suffered severe dengue, regardless of being vaccinated.
DOH, underneath Garin, launched this system in April 2016 amid opposition from well being consultants who questioned its “rushed implementation.” (READ: Mass use of dengue vaccine had no backing of DOH medical experts)
Numerous teams and personalities have referred to as for a probe into the matter. The Department of Justice on December 4 ordered the Nationwide Bureau of Investigation to start out a case build-up on the difficulty.
In the meantime each homes of Congress are set to open hearings on the controversy, beginning Monday, December 11.
Present Well being Secretary Francisco Duque has arrange a DOH task force to probe the program, and has said that the government will also hold Sanofi Pasteur accountable over the vaccine fiasco.
Amid this, Malacañang said the public should not panic over the controversy.
The federal government has additionally ordered a recall of the vaccine from the market. – Rappler.com