Salinlahi raises alarm over gov’t plan to lift ban on Dengvaxia

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Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns joined a press conference initiated by women’s rights group GABRIELA to express condemnation on the revival of Dengvaxia provision amidst the Duterte administration’s declaration of a National Dengue Epidemic, thereby retracting the ban on the vaccine.

Eule Bonganay, Secretary-General of Salinlahi, the speedy implementation of the dengue vaccination in 2016 by the Aquino administration caused a detrimental impact on children’s health, worst with suspected Dengvaxia related deaths. “The mass vaccination of Dengvaxia sowed suspicion not only in Dengvaxia but in other immunization drugs as well.

It was also determined, through sessions of psychosocial intervention provided to children in various communities in Tondo, Manila, Quezon City, and Valenzuela City who have been vaccinated, that the risks and controversies associated to Dengvaxia caused panic and trauma to them,” Bonganay added.

Worse, according to the school survey conducted by Salinlahi in 2018, Dengvaxia inoculated children did not really benefit from the initiative of the Duterte administration through the DOH which supposedly provided express lanes and free medical assistance to them. “Lifting the official ban on Dengvaxia is an indication of the current government’s total disregard of the adverse effects caused to “victims” of the vaccination. It also brings back the opportunity for Sanofi-Pasteur to once again use Filipino children as guinea pigs for their experiment.

Salinlahi stated that Dengvaxia until further and deeper studies are concluded, is not the answer especially in the light of an epidemic. Bonganay said that the Duterte government should provide higher state subsidy for health services that would genuinely ensure free medical care for dengue patients. He also reiterated their previous demand for proper medical assistance, monitoring and evaluation and indemnification for children who were administered with Dengvaxia.

“While we demand accountability of the Aquino government, we also hold accountable the Duterte Administration for dilly-dallying on the investigations and the non-transparency of its actions regarding its dealings with Sanofi Pasteur which we question given the sudden turnaround. Lastly, we must call out Sanofi Pasteur for its unethical practices that led to the controversy and demand concerned international bodies to penalize the big pharmaceutical corporation for the lives lost and endangered, in the name of profit,” concluded Bonganay. ###