Senate Urged to Approve Bill for P1.16-B Fund for Kids Given Dengvaxia

House Appropriations Committee chair Karlo Nograles on Sunday urged the Senate to approve its version of the proposed P1.16-billion supplemental budget aimed to assist children who were administered the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine.

Nograles made the remark as the 17th Congress opens on Monday its Third Regular Session concurrent with President Rodrigo Duterte's third State of the Nation Address.

"Every day that passes by is crucial for the families whose children were administered with the Dengvaxia vaccine, and our fellow lawmakers in the Senate know this,” Nograles said in a statement.

“At this point there is already a tragic pattern of deaths among children who were part of the inoculation program, and our top priority should be to break this pattern by ensuring that we are able to monitor and prevent deaths that may be tied to the use of the Dengvaxia vaccine; passing this supplemental budget is the best way to achieve this," he added.

The House of Representatives in May approved on third and final reading House Bull 7449, which seeks to appropriate a total of P1,161,710,000 as supplemental appropriation to the 2018 national budget to provide the necessary heath and medical assistance to Dengvaxia vaccinees.

The said amount would come from the partial refund from unused vials returned by French pharmaceutical company and Dengvaxia manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur to the government through its local distributor Zuellig Pharma.

President Rodrigo Duterte stopped the dengue vaccination program when Sanofi Pasteur advised against prescribing Dengvaxia to patients who have not acquired the dengue virus before due to the severe diseases it may cause in the long run.

According to the Department of Health, the program went full throttle in public elementary schools in Central Luzon and in Calabarzon.

"In Mindanao, Dengvaxia was actually available and was being administered in private hospitals before the government's mass vaccination program started,” Nograles also said.

“We learned that 400 individuals were given dosages there and we are closely monitoring their health. The same should apply for all the school children who were given the vaccine," he added. — BM, GMA News



GMA News
Barbara Marchadesch



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