PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has ordered all public hospitals to provide free medical services and treatment to children administered with the controversial dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this announcement in a press conference at the Dr. Manuel T. Fuentebella Memorial Hospital in Sagñay, Camarines Sur.
“Inutusan din ng Presidente na lahat ng pampublikang ospital ay dapat magbigay ng serbisyo doon sa mga kabataan na naturukan ng Dengvaxia (The President ordered all public hospitals to provide services to children given Dengvaxia),” Roque told reporters in a briefing aired live on the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson Facebook page.
Roque further said that Duterte wanted the government to foot the bill for treating victims linked to Dengvaxia.
“Sasagutin na po ng gobiyerno yung halaga ng paggamot doon sa mga naging biktima ng Dengvaxia (The government will foot the bill for treating victims of Dengvaxia),” said Roque.
Roque also said Duterte is eyeing the assistance of foreign clinical pathologists following concerns that there is a lack of clinical pathologists in the Philippines.
“Dahil sa kakulangan ng clinical pathologists dito sa Pilipinas, nagsalita na ang Presidente na kung kinakailangan, kukuha tayo ng mga dayuhang clinical pathologists para pag-aralan kung itong mga kabataang namamatay nga ay namatay dahil sa Dengvaxia vaccine (“Because of the lack of clinical pathologists here in the Philippines, the President has spoken that if necessary, the government will seek foreign clinical pathologists to study if the children whose deaths were linked to Dengvaxia were indeed caused by the vaccine),” Roque said.
Roque, meanwhile, allayed the fears of parents that all vaccines administered by government hospitals are unsafe.
“Nananwagan po ang Palasyo sa mga nanay at tatay, hindi po lahat ng vaccines ay masama. In fact, ongoing pa po ang imbestigasyon sa Dengvaxia (The Palace appeals to all mothers and fathers, not all vaccines are unsafe. In fact, the investigation on Dengvaxia is ongoing),” Roque said.
He said that what was unsafe is if parents refused to have their children vaccinated as it would help prevent health outbreaks such as measles.
Results of the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) review showed that out of the 14 children whose deaths were linked to Dengvaxia, only three deaths were due to the complications of dengue. p: wjg