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Ejercito getting set for vaccine inquiry

  • Written by Marlon Purificacion
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 270

SENATOR JV Ejercito proposed the creation of a task force comprised of medical experts and government
agencies to probe the controversial dengue immunization program.

Ejercito filed Senate Resolution 557 in response to drug manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur’s
findings that the dengue vaccine Dengvaxia may have adverse effects on persons not previously infected
by the disease.
    
“I am puzzled and surprised why the Philippines approved and used the Dengvaxia despite the
fact that up to this day, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which is the equivalent of our Food and
Drugs Administration (FDA) has not yet approved it. I suggest the task force should find out the
scientific merit of the vaccine,” Ejercito said in a statement.
    
The senator also wanted the presence of representatives from the Department of Health, World
Health Organization, Philippine Medical Association and “medical societies, academe, and noted medical
and health experts.”
    
Ejercito said that he would be meeting with officials from the WHO arriving in the country on
December 12 and 13 to hear their opinions before conducting the investigation.
    
“I believe that the observation and analysis of the WHO officials plus the report and
recommendation of the task force that I have proposed to be created will give me a wider grasp and
understanding of the problem which will help me a lot in my inquiry,” Ejercito said.
    
If need be, he said he would join the Blue Ribbon Committee of Sen. Richard Gordon in its own
investigation on Monday.
    
“I may still join the Blue Ribbon Committee of Sen. Richard Gordon in the investigation on
Monday if it’s really necessary because I believe that a lot of substantial information will come out
in that hearing at kung hindi ko talaga siya makukumbinsi na hintayin muna ang mga WHO officials,”
Ejercito stressed.
    
But still, he said, he would need the findings and recommendation of the experts.
    
Meanwhile, Ejercito called for the DoH to undertake surveillance of the kids injected with the
vaccine and identify and monitor the condition of those who had not been infected prior to their
vaccination.
    
The Department of Justice has already ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to
start investigating the P3.5-billion dengue vaccination program of the DoH on Monday.