Cases vs. former gov’t, health officials to continue despite possible Dengvaxia return – Palace

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 2)— Pending complaints against former government and health officials implicated in the Dengvaxia controversy will still push through even with the vaccine’s possible return in the Philippine market, Malacañang stressed Friday.

“Nothing is final yet but we vow that we will not repeat the mistakes of the past, where Dengvaxia was allegedly misused and mishandled in aid of political election with haste,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

“In this connection, a possible revival of Dengvaxia for those previously infected with dengue virus does not mean that pending cases against former officials involved in the issues surrounding the vaccine will be rendered moot. We will continue to leave this matter to courts of law as they decide the merits of the case,” he added.

Officials of the Aquino and Duterte administrations, including former President Noynoy Aquino, former Health Secretary Janette Garin and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, were slapped with graft and murder charges along with executives of French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi-Pasteur over the dengue vaccination drive.

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

At least 130,000 dengue cases, including 561 deaths, have been recorded from January 1 to July 13, according to the latest data from the Department of Health. The spike in dengue cases has prompted the Health Department to declare a “national dengue alert” for the first time in July.

Tacloban City was the latest to declare a state of calamity due to the dengue outbreak. Samal in Davao del Norte and Zamboanga Sibugay have also raised the alert in their respective areas.

Meanwhile, the European Union has pledged a €100 000 or roughly P5.67 million to assist local communities affected by the outbreak.