Provincial health authorities have still not determined whether or not Boholanos were administered with the controversial anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia despite assurances from the Provincial Health Office (PHO) and the Department of Education (DepEd) that both offices did not carry out the national government’s mass immunization program.
According PHO chief Dr. Reymoses Cabagnot, they are not discounting the possibility that private physicians, particularly pediatricians, in Bohol had access to the vaccine and administered it to their patients.
“I can’t be sure. There might be private practitioners and pediatricians who used the vaccine that we could not trace,” said Cabagnot in Cebuano.
Health authorities are having a hard time in determining who among physicians in the province used Dengvaxia particularly those who have not been coordinating with the government.
The PHO has started to gather information on whether or not some local doctors purchased the vaccine, Cabagnot added.
The PHO chief also called on physicians who have administered or sold Dengvaxia to voluntarily report their sale or use of the vaccine to authorities.
However, Cabagnot is confident that none of the government agencies have carried out the immunization program as all kinds of vaccines allotted for public health facilities go through the PHO.
“On the government side, we have nothing to worry about as all of the vaccines from the Department of Health (DOH) pass through the PHO,” he said.
Meanwhile, a recent report that surfaced indicated that a child in Talisay, Cebu who has been vaccinated with Dengvaxia landed in the hospital.
Authorities however have not yet confirmed if the hospitalization was due to the vaccine.
The controversy on Dengvaxia erupted after its manufacturer, pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur, admitted in a disclosure that the vaccine could have harmful effects particularly to those without prior infection.
The disclosure has prompted the DOH to suspend its mass anti-dengue vaccination program. (Allen Doydora)