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Senate to begin public hearing on medical aid for kids given Dengvaxia, Legarda says

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The Senate will begin to start the ball rolling, so to speak, on the proposal to have the P1.16-billion refunded by French pharmaceutical company, Sanofi Pasteur, used to fund the medical needs of children who received Dengvaxia anti-dengue vaccine shots.

Sen. Loren Legarda on Sunday announced the holding of the first public hearing on bills on such proposals, intended to benefit the more than 800,000 children who were administered with Dengvaxia in 2016.

“This first public hearing is our first step towards appropriating a sufficient amount to fund the much-needed support for the Dengvaxia vaccinees by providing them with medical assistance for medical-kits, hospitalization, out-patient care services, such as laboratory tests,” Legarda, chair of the Senate finance committee said.

“Dengvaxia was originally intended to help reduce, if not eradicate, the dengue incidents in the country, and it was most unfortunate that the public was not informed of its accompanying risks. Let usearnestly hope that this medical assistance program will not be too late in terms of making sure that we keep our children safe and healthy,” she added.

Following demands made by the government, Sanofi Pasteur’s local distributor, Zuellig Pharma, refunded the P1.16 billion out of the more than P3 billion payment for the purchase of Dengvaxia vaccines.

The refunded amount covered the unused vials of Dengvaxia vaccines.