House panel OKs P1.16 billion special fund for Dengvaxia vaccinees

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 22) — The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday approved the P1.16 billion supplemental budget to assist those vaccinated with Dengvaxia under the government's mass immunization program.

Under the proposed additional budget, the Department of Health (DOH) would shoulder all the medical expenses - medicines, laboratory tests, and hospital confinement - of some 890,000 children who received the Dengvaxia vaccine regardless of the illness.

The money would come from the P1.16-billion refund from Sanofi Pasteur, manufacturer of Dengvaxia, for the vaccine returned by the government after it shelved the dengue immunization program due to health risks.

Here is the breakdown of the P1.16 billion supplemental budget:

  • Medical Assistance Program - P945,827, 530
  • Supplies and Medicines - P45,000,000
  • Dengvaxia Assistance Card - P25,000,000
  • Salary of 1,250 nurses -- P78,296,250
  • Followup vaccinees with complaints - P67,586,220

In late 2017, Sanofi Pasteur announced that Dengvaxia posed potentially severe sickness from the vaccine for those who never had dengue. This prompted the government to halt the nationwide immunization program, which was launched by the Aquino administration in April 2016.

CNN Philippines correspondent Joyce Ilas contributed to this report.