‘Biggest public health scam’: Expert wants legal action over risky vaccine program

DENGVAXIA. The world’s first anti-dengue vaccine is administered to Filipino grade-schoolers under the government’s school-based dengue immunization program. File photo by Joel Liporada/Rappler

via ABS-CBN News – A public health expert on Friday called for legal action on the government’s recently suspended dengue immunization program, after a vaccine maker said the drug poses risks to individuals not previously infected with dengue.

In a Facebook post, Dr. Susan Mercado, a former government health undersecretary and director of noncommunicable diseases and health through the life-course of the World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific, said the the P3.4 billion vaccine program was the “biggest government funded clinical-trial-masked-as-a-public-health-program scam of an experimental drug in the history of the [Department of Health].”

“This was reckless and irresponsible from the start and the public was deceived into thinking this vaccine would protect children from dengue,” the post read.

“The public health community has been outraged for over a year. Legal action is now necessary. Families should be compensated for damages and the decision-makers behind this deal should be brought to justice.”

Mercado said many scientists and experts voiced their opposed the vaccination program before it was implemented.

“As far as I know, there were many scientists, many voices who were not in agreement with doing this immunization program even within the Department of Health. And I think records are going to show that even before formulary exec that was in charge of the technical oversight for allowing a new vaccine to be used for public health purposes was not in favor of using this,” she said in an ANC interview.

She added that someone should be held accountable for the program that vaccinated children who have not had the dengue virus and put them at risk of more serious illnesses.

“Well, I was saying that we should have legal action. Right now, it is not clear to me. I am not a lawyer. I don’t know how to attribute the accountability but somebody should be accountable for all those children who were vaccinated who do not have had dengue, could have a severe case of dengue 10 years from now,” she said.

The Philippines was the 1st country in Asia to approve the Dengvaxia vaccine for individuals aged 9 and 45 years old in December 2015.

FULL STORY

Find more like this: Health

  • Prewar films show Japanese enjoying life in the Philippines
  • Philippines island Boracay reopens for test run following huge cleanup
  • Philippines Wins New Term on U.N. Rights Council, Drawing Outrage
  • In pre-colonial Philippines, we already had kinilaw and corpses smoked tobacco
  • Bongga! More Filipino words now in Oxford English Dictionary
  • Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

    Entertainment

  • Cassette Store Day debuts in Philippines on October 13
  • Meet the New Host of ‘Blues Clues,’ Filipino American Actor Joshua Dela Cruz
  • Here’s why ‘Signal Rock’ is a family drama every Pinoy needs to see
  • An old komiks character is dusted off for modern Pinoy readers
  • Kris Aquino dazzles in yellow at ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ premiere in Hollywood
  • MORE...

    Features

  • Showcase of PH culture, heritage
  • US and Philippines: Friends, Partners, and Allies
  • A Transgender Paradox, and Platform, in the Philippines
  • The Box That Brings Christmas to the Philippines
  • ‘Pinoy Aquaman’ swims 23 kilometers for peace in Mindanao
  • MORE...

    Tourism

  • Philippines island Boracay reopens for test run following huge cleanup
  • Philippines closes ‘cesspool’ tourist island of Boracay
  • Boracay Set to Ban Tourists for Six Months During Island ‘Rehabilitation’
  • Boracay: the good, bad and ugly sides to Philippine island for tourists
  • El Nido to impose daily visitor limits in 3 iconic tourist sites
  • MORE...

    Sports

  • First Filipino table tennis Olympian Ian “Yanyan” Lariba dies at 23
  • Skateboarder Margielyn Didal wins 4th gold for Philippines
  • Asian Games gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz receives Air Force promotion
  • Philippines’ Kong Te Yang is the oldest athlete competing in 2018 Asian Games
  • Cayetano says Philippines plans to bid for 2030 Asian Games
  • MORE...

    OFW News

  • DOLE suspends OFW deployment to Kuwait
  • Some OFWs turn to vlogging to beat loneliness, share life abroad
  • Overseas Filipino Bank to serve immigrants, workers
  • The ‘bagong bayani’ of the Philippines
  • Which countries pay OFWs the highest?
  • MORE...

    Environment

  • Boracay Set to Ban Tourists for Six Months During Island ‘Rehabilitation’
  • Boracay: the good, bad and ugly sides to Philippine island for tourists
  • Luzon has greatest concentration of unique mammals
  • Mindanao plants 3M trees in an hour, challenges world record
  • Fighting for sharks in the Philippines
  • MORE...

    Pinoy Places
    and Faces