> Outrage and fear in the Philippines, crowds gathered in front of the Department of Health on Tuesday. Protesting a vaccine they say put their children at serious risk. The government is stopping sales of Dengvaxia, a vaccine for dengue. After warnings that the drug could actually make the disease worse.
It's been used on over 700,000 children. Reuters Karen Lima says the scandal has put French drug-maker Sanofi and some officials in the spotlight.>> What we know is that the previous government spent around $70 million to procure the vaccine for its dengue immunization program. Some legislators, however, are calling for an investigation.
And they believe that DOH or Department of Health officials as well as Sanofi must be held liable for this.>> The World Health Organization first flagged problems with the vaccine back in July of 2016. Warning that it might not work and worse could put some even more at risk of a severe infection.
Sinofi only made its concerns about the vaccine public last week, calling them quote new findings. President Rodrigo Duterte is now vowing to get to the bottom of what he calls a public health scam.>> His spokesman said that the government will leave no stone unturned. And ensuring that all those responsible will be held accountable.
The DOH also promised to intensify surveillance and monitor all those who received the vaccine. And the promise that medical attention will be given to whoever may need it.>> Dengue kills hundreds each year in the Philippines. As to whether the vaccine has put any lives at risk, the reports are conflicting.
One local NGO claims, that three people have dies from the vaccine. But Sanofi says, there have been no fatalities at all.