Palace open to Dengvaxia program revival with certain conditions

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 31)— As dengue cases rise, Malacañang on Wednesday said it is open to reintroduce the Dengvaxia vaccine in the government’s health program, but on certain conditions.

In a chance interview with reporters, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo welcomed the proposal, but cited the need for a thorough study before any decision can be made.

"Certainly if the weight of the findings show that there is benefit in using Dengvaxia against dengue, then certainly the government should consider it,”Panelo said.

“We’re always open to anything that will benefit the Filipino people.”

The spike in dengue cases and deaths prompted the Health Department to declare a “national dengue alert” for the first time in July.

Because of this, former Health Secretary and now Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin urged the government to bring back the controversial anti-dengue vaccine.

Dengvaxia was first administered to over 800,000 students in a school-based government immunization program in April 2016. Sanofi Pasteur in November 2017 announced the vaccine posed potentially severe dengue risks among those with no dengue history. The resulting panic prompted the Health Department to suspend its program in late November 2017.

The vaccine has been permanently banned in the Philippine market after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in February revoked its Certificate of Product Registration.

Over 100 deaths have been linked to the anti-dengue vaccine, but experts have said there are no findings that the drug has caused these deaths.

The United States FDA in May has approved the use of Dengvaxia for prevention of the dengue disease.

CNN Philippines’ Ina Andolong and Alyssa Rola contributed to this report.