MANILA -- Senator Pia Cayetano on Friday agreed with President Rodrigo Duterte's position to wait for the advice of health experts and doctors before considering the reintroduction of the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine in the country.
Cayetano made the statement after the Department of Health (DOH) declared a national dengue epidemic due to the alarming rise of the mosquito-borne disease.
This is a technical and scientific matter that should be left to the health experts. The President (already) said he's listening to them, so let's give this time, Cayetano said in a television interview.
Sana po huwag muna tayong mag-comment Kasi litong-lito na ang mga tao (I hope we could refrain from commenting... because people are getting confused), the senator said.
Cayetano said politicians should rather focus on discussing policies to ensure better access to health care services while public health specialists decide whether or not Dengvaxia should be used again or not.
Sana po ang mga politicians (Hopefully, the politicians) --we just discuss policies. Our policy is we want to ensure the safety of the Filipino people. We want to ensure that they have access to [appropriate healthcare services]. The poor should also have access to whatever is available to the rich, she said.
President Duterte on Thursday said he is open to the use of Dengvaxia again, but admitted that he remains in a quandary whether or not to lift the ban on the use of Dengvaxia.
Yes, I am open to the use of Dengvaxia again. Maraming patay na (Many died already), it's an epidemic, Duterte said in a media interview after an event in MalacaAan Palace.
Ako (me), I'd rather go on the side of science. If nobody would believe me, still I would say that if there is anything there in the Western medicine and even itong herbal ng mga (even this herbal of the) Oriental if it would mean saving people's lives, I'll go for it, he told the Palace reporters.
DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III on Tuesday declared a National Dengue Epidemic in the wake of 146,062 cases recorded since January to July 20 this year.
In February this year, DOH's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permanently revoked the certificates of product registration issued to Dengvaxia over the failure of vaccine-maker Sanofi Pasteur to submit post-approval papers.
In 2017, the government stopped its dengue immunization program using Dengvaxia after Sanofi came out with advisory which said patients who had no prior exposure to dengue virus could suffer severe symptoms if vaccinated with Dengvaxia. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency