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House eyeing P1.2-billion vaccine refund for Dengvaxia kids.

The House of Representatives is eyeing the allocation of the P1.2 billion refunded by dengue vaccine maker Sanofi Pasteur to the government for children inoculated with Dengvaxia.

Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles, appropriations committee chairman, filed a bill yesterday for the allocation through a supplemental budget.

Another House member, Aurelio Gonzales Jr. of Pampanga, introduced Joint Resolution No. 20 appropriating the Sanofi refund for the medical requirements of children who received Dengvaxia vaccination.

Like a bill, a joint resolution has the force and effect of a law if passed by the two chambers of Congress and signed by the President.

Gonzales said his measure, if approved, would authorize the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Department of Health (DOH) to use the Sanofi refund.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno earlier said that without such congressional authorization, they could not touch the money.

Duque said his department has turned over the Sanofi refund to the national treasury.

Nograles said the supplemental budget equivalent to the refund would be used to fund the medical needs of children who were given the Dengvaxia vaccine. These needs include medical assistance for hospitalization, medical kits and out-patient care services including laboratory tests.

'This will ensure prompt and pinpoint delivery of necessary medical assistance to Dengvaxia vaccinees even as the DOH continues to monitor their state in the months following their inoculation. Also, this is to allay the fears of the public on the purported effects of Dengvaxia and to prevent further deaths and illnesses of those administered with the vaccine,' Nograles said.

Diokno said the DBM wants to request for a supplemental budget, which will allow the agency to utilize the P1.16 billion refunded by Zuellig Pharma, the local distributor of Sanofi Pasteur.

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Publication:Philippines Star (Manila, Philippines)
Date:Mar 22, 2018
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