Former Philippine president, Benigno Aquino, has urged parents not to panic about an anti-dengue vaccine which has come under official scrutiny in the Philippines.
Aquino attended a probe on the vaccine Dengvaxia, produced by French firm Sanofi Pasteur, at the House of Representatives on Monday.
More than 800,000 children have been vaccinated with Dengvaxia since 2016 in a programme started by the Aquino administration.
“We know that this issue has been politicised. Those who are learned and experts, we need to hear them speak so that they can advise us properly,” Aquino told lawmakers.
The controversy over the drug stretches back to late last year, when the Philippines suspended the vaccination programme after Sanofi disclosed possible harmful effects for children.
A probe by both chambers of Congress followed.
The scare has prompted many parents not to allow their children to participate in other vaccination programmes.
Aquino on Monday called on people to refrain from making “premature conclusions based on insufficient data.”
Earlier this month, Sanofi insisted that its anti-dengue vaccine was effective and safe.
But a review panel organised by the Department of Health said Dengvaxia was not suitable for mass immunization after finding “causal association” with the vaccine to three children who died after receiving the drug.
“In Dengvaxia clinical trials conducted over more than a decade and over one million doses of the vaccine administered, no deaths causally related to the vaccine have been reported to us,” Sanofi said in a statement.
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