The Department of Health (DOH) has called on Sanofi Pasteur Asia Pacific to demand a refund of Php 1.4 billion, and for the pharmaceutical giant to conduct the serotyping of more than 800,000 Dengvaxia-inoculated children.

DOH sent two letters to Sanofi Pasteur Asia Pacific head Thomas Triomphe detailing their demands regarding the suspension of Dengvaxia use, the world’s first anti-dengue vaccine, in its local vaccinations programme.

The amount “corresponds to the remaining unused vials of Dengvaxia,” according to a DOH statement.

Sanofi should also shoulder the costs of serotyping the students who received the vaccine to determine their pre-vaccination status.

The Health agency further requested documents which detail clinical trials of Dengvaxia including an ethics review from the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD).

In November, Sanofi recommended that Dengvaxia should not be used for children who were never infected with dengue, as it could potentially result to a more ‘severe’ case.

The DOH, following the announcement, suspended the vaccination drive - which was in effect in four regions where dengue cases was most prevalent - NCR, Cebu, Regions 4-A and 3. About 830,000 children received the shot.

Several investigations have been launched since, one from the Department of Justice and another from the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO).

“We welcome these investigations as complementary to our efforts in finding the truth about this matter,” Secretary of Health Francisco Duque III said.

For its part, the Health department convened an independent medical expert panel and collaborated with the University of the Philippines - Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) experts in looking at the alleged deaths.

So far, DOH reported 17 cases which resulted to death and were allegedly related to the vaccination.

“Based on the Dengvaxia Surveillance Update on January 10, 2018 from the Epidemiology Bureau, four of the 17 cases being looked into identify dengue shock as cause of death,” said Secretary Duque. MIMS

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