Duterte certifies urgent bill allotting ₱1.16-B supplemental budget for Dengvaxia vaccinees

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 29) — President Rodrigo Duterte has certified urgent a bill giving over a billion pesos as supplemental budget for individuals vaccinated with Dengvaxia.

This follows the House Appropriations Committee approving the supplemental budget on May 22.

House Bill No. 7449 was signed by President Duterte Tuesday.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Karlo Nograles said the supplemental budget was passed by the House of Representatives on the third and final reading Tuesday night.

"The ₱1.161-B Supplemental Budget for 2018 to assist the Dengvaxia victims with 231 voting for, and no votes against and no abstentions," he said.

 

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 ₱1.16-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 ₱1.16 billion supplemental budget:

  • Medical Assistance Program - ₱945,827, 530
  • Supplies and Medicines - ₱45,000,000
  • Dengvaxia Assistance Card - ₱25,000,000
  • Salary of 1,250 nurses - ₱78,296,250
  • Followup vaccinees with complaints - ₱67,586,220

In late 2017, Sanofi Pasteur announced that Dengvaxia posed potential 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.