The Philippine Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday, January 10 directed the Department of Health (DOH) and several other agencies to answer the petition filed by the Gabriela party-list together with the families of vaccinated children seeking to compel the government to provide free medicine and hospitalization to children who were administered with Dengvaxia.
According to SC Spokesperson Theodore Te, the court gave respondents Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Education Secretary Leonor Briones, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) officer-in-charge Catalino Cuy, DOH-National Center for Disease Prevention and Control program director Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy, and Food and Drug Administration Director General Nela Charade Puno 10 days from receipt of notice to comment on the petition.
In their petition, Gabriela party-list and more than 70 mothers are demanding that the government should provide long-term consultations and treatment to those vaccinated.
“These free medical services shall continue until it would have been determined and declared by competent and medical and/or scientific experts that the threat/s brought about by the Dengvaxia vaccine have been minimized or eliminated,” the petition stated.
The petitioners also wanted the court to compel the respondents to publicly disseminate, on a regular basis, the report of the DOH task force created and designated to monitor and review the school-based immunization program involving Dengvaxia, and submit the result of the review to the Senate and House of Representatives committees on health.
The DOH stopped the dengue immunization project on December 1, 2017 after French-based pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur claimed that new clinical analysis revealed Dengvaxia could lead to more cases of severe disease when administered to a person who has never been infected before.