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March 13, 2018


Agenda: Privilege Speech of Sen. Richard J. Gordon delivered on October 11, 2016 on the alleged P3.5 Billion worth of questionable dengue vaccines that had been administered by the DOH to 280,000 students without passing through WHO prequalification requirements

P.S. Res. Nos. 557 and 563 – Inquiring on the Dengue Immunization Program of the Department of Health vis-àvis the Sanofi Pasteur’s new clinical findings on the vaccine Dengvaxia’s adverse effects to its recipients

P.S. Res. No. 563 – Investigating the reported danger of the school-based dengue vaccination program of the Department of Health

Source: Senate of the Philippines Youtube Channel

Source: Sen. Richard Gordon’s facebook page.


  • Sen. Gordon: Apart from Dengue there was an order for health centers to be made. The SARO for Dengvaxia was a part of the 10B fund. In less than a month, everything (all paperwork) was approved. Do you think you can escape all these timelines?
  • Dr. Halstead: There’s a vaccine that’s effective against dengue, not one that’s licensed. There are 3 candidate vaccines in human testing – the Sanofi vaccine, one by the national institute of health in Bethesda and the one by Takeda.
  • Dr. Halstead: I made the suggestion that before the Dengvaxia is given to anybody that the people should have a blood test. So that the people who are seronegative can be excluded and those who are seropositive can benefit from the (Sanofi) vaccine. There is a benefit from the vaccine. They can be identified and vaccinated. But they said ‘hahaha’ nobody has done that before, it is impossible. It isn’t impossible. This vaccine needed a pre-test screen in order to identify the people who can benefit.
  • Dr. Scott Halstead: The diagnosis of Dengvaxia cannot be based on an autopsy. In any child that dies of Dengvaxia – there has to be two things: One is unequivocal cause that the infection was caused by Dengue virus. That can be done by DNA isolation or RNA identification or NS1. The second one is, we need to know whether the vaccine in that particular individual was given when that individual was seronegative or seropositive. And to do that we need to use the test that Sanofi has developed and available in several laboratories, and I am hoping that I will be able to introduce it into the Philippines. It’s where you’re actually detecting antibody against the proteins that are inside the viruses. The so called non-structural proteins because when you give somebody Dengaxia, the Dengvaxia particle has the Dengue envelope proteins on the outside, but the inside of the particle is yellow fever. So you give Dengvaxia to somebody, you make antibody to the Dengue-outside proteins, but not to the Dengue-inside proteins. So we have a test now that tells you, “do you have antibodies to the inside proteins or not?” So there is a test that can tell whether an individual was given Dengvaxia when they were seronegative or seropositive.
  • Dr. Scott Halstead: Let’s face it, when you get vaccinated and you’re hospitalized, something’s wrong with the vaccine. In all the cases I’ve studied in my life, if you have 1 or 2 cases, that’s a big deal. A vaccine should be protective. But if you’re getting clinically ill and hospitalized after you’ve been vaccinated, something is wrong. And that’s what I call a serious adverse event.
  • Dr. Scott Halstead: But the specific diagnosis of a serious adverse event is when somebody was seronegative when they were vaccinated and their very first dengue infection is causing hospitalization. That’s what we’re looking for and that’s the test that we want to adopt here in the Philippines.
  • Dr. Scott Halstead: We do not want people to feel that vaccines are dangerous. I am a pro-vaccine person my entire life. I hope we can rededicate to have these children get into clinical care early, get the clinical team up and running… we don’t have to have failed outcome.
  • Dr. Scott Halstead: All 830,000 children should be tested [for seronegativity]. It is unrealistic. All we can do is establish a generic process. You’ve established a hotline. Parents should feel that somebody cares and somebody is available. Those regions [hotspots] should have the best clinical care to reduce failed outcomes. Hopefully somebody does a booster dose. Something different from the Sanofi vaccine, to take these children out of risk. I hope we find a pharmaceutical company who is willing to take it.
  • Sen. Gordon: I think more than letters (to the President), Sec Duque, we need efficient and good action. It is duty on our part na ang pagkakamali na yan ay masundan natin ng tama.
  • Sen. Gordon: Yung karapatan ng isang magulang to accept or refuse ang isang treatment. Na sabihin sa kanila kung ano ang peligroso na ibibigay sa kanila ng medical procedures. Dito nagkulang ang gobyerno. Sanofi may have had the best of intentions, but in the implementation of this program, a lot of people got sick violently and even died because they were not provided the right info by Sanofi, the government and the people who were supposed to handle this. Now, kailangan habulin natin yan.
  • Sen. Gordon: We need a point-man in the DOH who can do this. I don’t think you can do it [to Sec. Duque].
  • Sen. Gordon: Some parents here can’t even bury their kid because of extreme poverty.

    Sec. Duque: We will provide assistance.
  • Sen. Gordon: DBM Sec. Diokno already said that’s money for it, please use it.
  • Sen. Gordon: I am assuring the parents that they can approach you [Sec. Duque]. They’re speaking because there’s a hearing. The protocols should already be in place.
  • Sen. Gordon: This is going to be an everyday battle, for justice. We have to help these parents. The Sec. of Health and my office is open for your [the parents’] concerns. This is the last hearing but we will not give up. We will continue seeking what is correct for our people. We cannot allow this to happen again through our sentinel of health – the DOH.

Source: Sen. Richard Gordon’s facebook page.

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