>> Exclusive details in a vaccine scandal that's rocked the Philippines. When an official plan for Dynavax was announced last year, it seemed like a breakthrough. 1 million children immunized for a potentially lethal tropical virus. But documents seen by Reuters can now reveal caution from local experts was ignored before the program was rolled out to hundreds of thousands of kids.
As Reuter's Tom Allard explains, officials overlooked some critical red flags.>> The expert panel that was advising the Department of Health made a key finding and that was that it had not yet been established that this Dynavax vaccine was either safe, cost effective, or effective as a vaccine.
This led them to provide a stringent list of conditions to their approval after all that.>> Fast forward nearly two years and the program lies in tatters. Suspended last month after drug firm Sanofi said the vaccine could actually increase the risk of severe dangy in recipients who were not previously infected by the virus.
The scandal has damaged the perception of public health among Filipinos.>> As one expert told me, it's like going back to ground zero to educate people that vaccines are actually good. There's a lot of fear because there's incomplete information coming out of the Department of Health about how many people have fallen sick or even died because of this vaccine.
So that's something that the Philippines government very much has to address.>> Janet Garrett, the health secretary at the time of the roll out boosted the program was a world first for the country. She hasn't responded to requests for comment on why she ignored expert advice, and faces questions from the Senate on Monday over her role in the scheme.