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Gustong ipakulong! Solon wants criminal raps vs Sanofi over Dengvaxia

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By: Xave Gregorio

A lawmaker is pressing the Department of Health (DOH) to file criminal charges against Dengvaxia manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur over deaths allegedly caused by the controversial vaccine.

During the fourth House probe into the botched dengue immunization program, Nueva Ecija 1st District Rep. Estrellita Suansing asked DOH undersecretary Rolando Enrique Domingo if the French pharmaceutical corporation can be held criminally liable.

“Please, find a way to file a criminal case against Sanofi,” Suansing told Domingo.

Domingo said they are not planning to file a criminal case against Sanofi Pasteur as they “want to complete with the investigations first.”

“What we’re doing now is we want to complete investigation first. So this can really give more solid and definitive findings, before we file cases,” Domingo said Monday (February 5).

The DOH-commissioned study by the University of the Philippines – Philippine General Hospital found three of the 14 supposedly Dengvaxia-related deaths they examined are “causally related” to the dengue vaccine, revealed to cause serious illness among those who have not been infected by the disease.

Domingo said the health bureau is waiting for further tests on tissue samples and autopsy specimens before they make any further moves.

He also hinted that there may be more than three deaths which may be linked to Dengvaxia, which had already been distributed to over 800,000 students and cost the government around P3 billion.

Two administrative and criminal cases related to Dengvaxia, filed separately by former Technical Education and Skills Development Authority chair Buboy Syjuco and Gabriela Women’s Party, have already been filed against Sanofi Pasteur officials along with former President Noynoy Aquino and some of his Cabinet members.

The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), which is conducting its own probe into the dengue vaccine, is also readying its own criminal and administrative charges to be lodged against those who had a hand at approving the use of Dengvaxia, which it found to have killed seven children.

The PAO and the Department of Justice have also been invited to the next hearing on the dengue vaccine by the House committees on good government and health.