Bishop welcomes FDA move, urges gov’t to run after execs in vaccine mess

Bishop welcomes FDA move, urges  gov’t to run after execs in vaccine mess

Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga. CBCP NEWS

By CBCP News

February 20, 2019

Manila, Philippines

A Catholic bishop welcomed the ban on selling, distribution and marketing of Sanofi’s dengue vaccine in the country.

The Food and Drug Administration has permanently banned the Dengvaxia vaccine after the French pharmaceutical giant failed to meet its directives.

But Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga said the move is not enough, urging the government to run after those behind the controversy.

“It is good and right decision of FDA, yet more is to be done especially its after effect,” Santos said.

Those who implemented the Dengvaxia program, according to him, should be made accountable.

“The government must investigate more and prosecute those who introduce and propagate Dengvaxia,” he said.

He also urged health authorities to closely monitor the school-age children who were vaccinated with the controversial anti-dengue vaccine.

The controversy erupted in late 2017 when Sanofi said that the Dengvaxia could worsen the disease in children who had never been exposed to the virus.

This prompted the government to suspend the immunization program where more than 700,000 children had already been vaccinated.

The Dengvaxia mess is also blamed for the deadly measles outbreak as vaccine confidence declined in the country.

“Remember trust is not freely given, it should always be earned,” Santos said.