Aquino appeals for calm amid Dengvaxia scare

By: Inquirer.net December 14,2017 - 09:54 PM

 

Former President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday said it was the obligation of government to keep the public calm by providing them with the most information it could about the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia and advise them on what to do.

He stood by his administration’s decision to use Dengvaxia as the anti-dengue vaccine administered to young school children who are most vulnerable to the mosquito-borne disease.

“We would not insist on using this without the process completed,” Aquino said, referring to the various studies and trials that a manufacturer conducts when developing drugs.

Aquino said he does not want to criticize the incumbent administration for its response to vaccine manufacturer Sanofi’s announcement that Dengvaxia was effective to those who have had dengue and those inoculated but have not had dengue could have more severe symptoms.

“Instead, I want to make an appeal,” Aquino said at a news conference following the Senate investigation.

“I am appealing that it is the obligation of government, it is in the Constitution, that it is the right of the people to be given information for them to make the right and correct decisions. Give them all the information that you possess so that they could make the right decision,” Aquino said.

Aquino observed that following Sanofi’s announcement, he noticed that everyone talked about the severity of the effect of Dengvaxia even if it appeared that not everyone agreed on exactly what “severe” meant.

“If we listen to all those who have spoken, [they] all went straight to the most severe. Sanofi said that there could be two additional days of fever, platelets could drop, there could be bruising. But from the additional two days of fever, there were already talks of death and organ failure. That was a huge leap,” Aquino said.

“It is the obligation of government to calm down people, to talk to them properly, and advise them what to do if they see the symptoms of dengue, such as immediately go to the health center and the rural health units,” he said, adding in Filipino, “Let us be clear. Let us not spread fear because that could prevent people from doing what should be done right.”

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TAGS: amid, amuid, Appeals, Aquino, calm, dengue
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