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The Philippine Department of Health

(DOH), on late November 2017,
temporarily suspended a school-based
dengue vaccination (also known as
"Dengvaxia", Tagalog pronunciation: [dɛŋ
ˈvakʃa]) program after French drug based
vaccine maker Sanofi Pasteur made a
statement that its product poses higher
risks to people without prior dengue
infection.[4][5] As a result, the Dengvaxia
controversy, or Dengvaxia mess,[6] began
to emerge following the reports of
several children dying from various
complications allegedly attributed to the
dengue vaccine.[7]
Dengvaxia controversy
Location Philippines

Cause Dengue vaccine

(primary allegation)
Internal bleedings in
heart, lungs, and brain
(autopsy conducted by

Participants Public Attorney's Office

Department of Health


3,281 hospitalized after receiving Dengvaxia

(1,967 with dengue indication)[1]

Deaths 62 children (as of

April 7, 2018)[note 1][3]

In April 2016, the Department of Health
(DOH), launched the dengue vaccination
campaign in regions Central Luzon,
Calabarzon and Metro Manila, where
about 700,000 individuals received at
least one dose of the vaccine.[8] The
government paid P3.5-billion for the
vaccine.[9] On December 1, 2015, former
President Benigno Aquino III met with
executives of Sanofi Pasteur in a
courtesy call in Paris, making the
Philippines the first Asian country to
approve the commercial sale of

Following the atempt by the dengue
vaccination maker Sanofi Pasteur on
November 29, 2017,[11] the Philippine
Department of Health (DOH) suspended
the vaccination program based in
schools owing to the concern that it
worsens the disease in some cases
where the recipient had no previous
exposure.[12] DOH Secretary Francisco
Duque III said "In the light of this new
analysis, the DOH will place the dengue
vaccination on hold while review and
consultation is ongoing with experts, key
stakeholders and the World Health
Organization."[8] On December 2, 2017,
the government of Makati immediately
suspended its anti-dengue vaccination
drive following its statement.[13]

In its statement, pharmaceutical

company Sanofi Pasteur reported
concerns that Filipinos, mostly
schoolchildren, could be potentially be at
risk of a more severe disease, where the
recipient of the vaccine had not had a
previous dengue infection. On December
4, 2017, Sanofi denied that they made
Filipinos into “guinea pigs”, explaining
that the vaccine program was conducted
by the DOH, not Sanofi.[14][15] Dr Ruby
Dizon, a medical director of Sanofi, said
that the dengue vaccination would not
cause "severe dengue".[16] Senator JV
Ejercito, chair of the Senate Committee
on Health and Demography, is seeking to
identify by January 2018 whether there
was an irregularity in the procurement of
the vaccine.[17] Senator Risa Hontiveros
urged the government to address the
health threats posed by the vaccine.[18]
The Food and Drug Administration of the
Phillipines ordered Sanofi to stop
distributing of Dengvaxia into the
country.[19][20] Former Health Secretary
Janette Garin said she welcomed the
investigation which will be conducted by
the Philippine Department of Justice.[21]
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque
told the media that 10 percent of the
733,000 schoolchildren[note 2] were at risk
of dengue infection.[24] Since then, the
Philippine Department of Education has
closely monitored the students who have
been injected by the vaccine.[25]
Hontiveros said that Sanofi should take
liability for the medical expenses of
those who contracted severe dengue
fever after receiving doses of the

Sanofi representative Thomas Triomphe

"was forced to apologize" during the
House of Representatives hearing on the
Dengvaxia dengue vaccine.[27] Former
President Benigno Aquino III, who
approved the vaccination program in
2016, expressed interest on attending the
Senate hearing.[28] On December 16,
Aquino told reporters that "With the
announcement of Sanofi and the
reactions to it, there has been a lot of
tension building up and I think it is
incumbent upon me even as a citizen to
try and allay certain fears, to put it in the
proper perspective, to put it on the proper

Secretary Duque reminded the public,

especially parents, that "the vaccine is
not a 'standalone' preventive measure
against dengue."[30] On December 15,
2017, former Education and Skills
Development chief Augusto Syjuco Jr
filed "mass murder and plunder"
complaints against Aquino and former
health secretary Janette Garin over the
controversial vaccination program.[31]
Former health secretary Enrique Ona
blamed his successor Janette Garin, who
advised former president Benigno Aquino
lll to purchase the Dengvaxia.[32]

On February 2, 2018, the University of the

Philippines-Philippine General Hospital
(UP-PGH) issued a report stating that
three out of 14 children who died after
receiving Dengvaxia had an indication of
dengue despite immunization.[33] On
February 3, a group of doctors, including
former health secretary Esperanza
Cabral, urged the Public Attorney's Office
(PAO) to stop conducting autopsies.[34]
On February 21, Senator Richard Gordon
said that the DOH must be liable for the
controversy.[35] On March 13, Senator
Gordon formally terminated the
investigation of the controversy.[36] On
February 26, Aquino appeared for the
first time at House inquiry about the
controversy; he said that the controversy
has been "politicized",[37] but the
Malacañang Palace distanced itself from
Aquino's allegations.[38] On February 27,
the opposition Representatives such as
Gary Alejano of Magdalo and Edcel
Lagman of Albay urged President
Rodrigo Duterte to intervene about the
dispute between the PAO and DOH.[39] On
March 3, about 200 families of Dengvaxia
vacinees joined the advocacy run held in
Quezon Memorial Circle.[40]

Sanofi stated that they will make a

decision on seeking regulatory approval
for dengue vaccine Dengvaxia in the
United States, despite the health scare in
the country, after they have had a
meeting with the US Food and Drug


On April 5, Public Attorney’s Office filed

the criminal charges (reckless
imprudence resulting in homicide under
Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code
and violation of Republic Act No. 9745
(Anti-Torture Act) and torture) against
the Former Health Secretary Janette
Garin and other former officials.[42][43]
However, Garin said that the charges
have no basis and vowed to file a
counter-charge against PAO.[44] The
families of four children — Aejay Bautista
(11), Lenard Baldonado (10), Zandro
Colite (11), and Angelica Pestilos (10),
whose deaths had been linked to
Dengvaxia — also filed the charges.[45]

On April 19, PAO filed criminal

complaints before the Department of
Justice (DOJ), including the incumbent
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III,
following the death of the 13-year-old girl
after receiving Dengvaxia on November
17, 2017.[46] Duque fires back by
describing the charges against him as
"malicious and oppressive" and he also
said that he has nothing to do with the
implementation of the dengue
immunization program since he was
seated as the secretary last October

Gordon's draft report

On April 11, Gordon released his draft

report, stating that Aquino is guilty of
"malfeasance, misfeasance and
nonfeasance" in connection to that
controversy.[48] The blue ribbon
committee also told Aquino for "simply
not caring" because the lives of Filipino
children in grave danger.[48] Gordon said
that Aquino, former Budget Secretary
Florencio Abad, Garin and other
conspirators must be prosecuted for the
Dengvaxia mess.[48][49] Gordon slammed
Aquino by saying that "he's insensitive
and lacks compassion."[50] However, left-
wing figures called Gordon’s report “one-
sided,”[51] and Senator Antonio Trillanes
IV defends Aquino by saying that
Gordon's report was "black
propaganda".[52] Aquino reacted by
saying, “What should we expect from the
Dick Gordon show?”.[53] Also, Senator
Ejercito said that while Aquino is "guilty
of negligence", Garin and Abad are the
ones who should be held liable.[51]

On April 15, Gordon said he expected at

least 10 senators to sign his report
holding former President Benigno Aquino
III and other officials liable.[54] Senator
Panfilo Lacson will not sign the report
due to "unreasonable comments" about
him.[55] On April 17, Aside from Gordon,
who already signed the report, Senators
Ralph Recto, Manny Pacquiao, Sherwin
Gatchalian, Tito Sotto, Gregorio Honasan,
Juan Miguel Zubiri, JV Ejercito, Nancy
Binay, and Grace Poe have signed.[56] On
April 20, Senator Sonny Angara also

Since the announcement by Sanofi, at
least 65 children have died as of early
July 2018, allegedly after receiving a
vaccination. The victims' parents blamed
the dengue vaccine for the deaths of
their children.[58] Most of the deaths are
caused by internal bleedings in heart,
lungs, and brain based on the autopsy
conducted by PAO.[59][60][7] Duque angrily
confronted the summoned hospital
officials after he learned that four
hospitals in Cavite allegedly refused to
admit the Dengvaxia vaccinees because
"there is no room for the patient".[61]

Netizens, as well as Senator Ejercito,
expressed frustration on February 5,
blaming the PAO for panic in dengue
vaccination.[62] Attorney Persida Acosta
of the PAO said that the PAO should not
be blamed for that panic but Sanofi
Pasteur itself.[62]

1. Four with dengue indication.[2]
2. Some sources say 700,000[22] or
1. "DOH: Over 3,000 students hospitalized
after Dengvaxia shot" . Rappler.
2. "PAO sees 'pattern' in deaths of 4
Dengvaxia recipients" . ABS-CBN News.
3. "DOH says 62 kids may have died after
receiving Dengvaxia" . Philippine Daily
4. "DOH suspends dengue vaccination
program" . Rappler.
5. "Pharma firm issues caution on use of
anti-dengue vaccine" .
6. "DOJ compels VACC, Vanguard to
submit evidence on Dengvaxia
complaint" . ABS-CBN News.
7. "TV Patrol: Nasuri ng PAO na naturukan
umano ng Dengvaxia, umabot na sa 41" .
ABS-CBN News – via YouTube.
8. "DOH suspends dengue immunization
program over potential health risk" . The
Philippine Star.
9. "Senate invites Aquino to vaccine
probe" .
10. "Duque: Aquino should attend Senate
probe on Dengvaxia" .
11. "Sanofi updates information on
dengue vaccine" . Sanofi Pasteur.
November 29, 2017.
12. "Suspended dengue vaccine was
given to 730,000 children, Philippines
says" . The Guardian.
13. "Makati suspends anti-dengue
vaccination program" . Philippine
Canadian Inquirer.
14. "Sanofi, DOH allay dengue vaccine
fears" . The Philippine Star.
15. "Sanofi denies Pinoys became 'guinea
pigs,' says no reported Dengvaxia deaths
in PH" . News5.
16. "Ex-DOH chief ready to face probe
over Dengvaxia mess" . ABS-CBN News.
17. "Senate to probe dengue vaccine in
January" . The Philippine Star.
18. "Risa says Sanofi must pay over
Dengvaxia mess; DOJ orders probe of
PNoy gov't's P3.5-B vaccination drive" .
19. "PH gov't orders Sanofi to stop sale,
distribution of Dengvaxia" . News5.
20. "FDA Advisory No. 2017-318 ||
Suspension of
Sale/Marketing/Distribution of Sanofi
Pasteur, Inc.’s Tetravalent Vaccine (Live,
Attenuated)(Dengvaxia)" . Archived from
the original . Food and Drug
21. "WATCH | Garin ready to face govt's
Dengvaxia probe" . News5.
22. "LIVE: Senate hearing on Dengvaxia" .
23. "DOJ wants right expert to look into
alleged Dengvaxia deaths" . ABS-CBN
24. "Filipinos not made guinea pigs –
Sanofi" . Philippine Daily Inquirer.
25. "DepEd monitors students
administered with Dengvaxia" . Manila
26. "Hontiveros: Sanofi should take on
medical expenses of those who were
vaccinated" . Manila Bulletin.
27. "Sanofi exec forced to apologize
during Dengvaxia inquiry" . Philippine
Daily Inquirer.
28. "Aquino ready to face Dengvaxia
probe at Senate" .
29. "Aquino: It's my duty to explain" .
Philippine Daily Inquirer .
30. "Duque to public: Don't rely too much
on vaccination to fight dengue" . GMA
31. "Aquino, Garin face mass murder,
plunder raps over dengvaxia
controversy" . Philippine Canadian
Inquirer. December 15, 2017.
32. "Dengue vaccine fiasco: Enrique Ona
blames Janette Garin" .
33. "3 out of 14 kids died of dengue after
Dengvaxia shot – UP-PGH panel" .
34. " 'Stop PAO autopsies on suspected
Dengvaxia victims' " . Rappler.
35. "Gordon says DOH 'liable' over
Dengvaxia mess" . Rappler.
36. "Gordon vows 'hard-hitting' report as
Senate ends Dengvaxia probe" . Rappler.
37. "Aquino hits 'loud' forensic expert on
Dengvaxia mess" . Philippine Daily
38. "Dengvaxia mess 'politicized'?
Certainly not because of Duterte, says
Palace" . Philippine Daily Inquirer.
39. "Bandila: Ilang mambabatas, hinamon
si Duterte ukol sa Dengvaxia" .
40. "Mga pamilya ng naturukan ng
Dengvaxia, nagsagawa ng 'advocacy
run' " . ABS-CBN News.
41. "Sanofi may seek U.S. approval for
Dengvaxia despite Philippines outrage" .
42. "Garin, other Health execs charged
over 'Dengvaxia deaths' " . The Manila
43. "Garin: Raps filed by parents of alleged
Dengvaxia victims 'have no scientific
basis' " . Philippine Daily Inquirer.
44. "Raps filed vs. Garin, 34 others over
alleged Dengvaxia deaths" . GMA News.
45. "Dengvaxia victims' kin file complaint
vs DOH, Sanofi, Zuellig execs" . Rappler.
46. "Duque, other DOH officials face
criminal raps over Dengvaxia mess" .
47. "Duque blasts PAO chief for
'malicious' Dengvaxia rap" . ABS-CBN
48. "Senate blue ribbon on Dengvaxia
mess: Aquino simply did not care" . The
Philippine Star.
49. "Aquino, Abad, Garin 'caused'
Dengvaxia 'tragedy' – draft report" .
Philippine Daily Inquirer.
50. "Former President Aquino is
responsible because he caused the
purchase of Dengvaxia and in the process
caused irreversible damage, possibly
death, to children, [and] anxiety, sleepless
nights, unnecessary expense on the part
of the parents and guardians. The
greatest sin and transgression of Aquino
was to put the lives of Filipino children in
grave peril. He simply did not care.
Manhid siya at walang malasakit (He's
insensitive and lacks compassion).""
("Gordon report: File criminal charges vs
Aquino, Garin, Abad over Dengvaxia
mess" ) — Rappler
51. "Senators cool to Gordon report on
Dengvaxia" . The Philippine Star.
52. "Gordon draft report 'black
propaganda', won't pass Senate scrutiny -
Trillanes" . ABS-CBN News.
53. "Clearly it's 'Dick Gordon show,' says
Aquino on Dengvaxia draft report" .
Philippine Daily Inquirer.
54. "Gordon: 10 senators to sign
committee report on Dengvaxia probe" .
Philippine Daily Inquirer.
55. "Lacson won't sign Dengvaxia report
due to Gordon's 'unreasonable' remark" .
Philippine Daily Inquirer.
56. "9 senators have signed report
seeking charges vs former President
Aquino" . Philippine Daily Inquirer.
57. "Angara signs blue ribbon Dengvaxia
report with 'reservations', too" . Philippine
Daily Inquirer.
58. "Anak namin namatay sa Dengvaxia"
(in Tagalog). Archived from the original .
Pilipino Star Ngayon. Retrieved December
20, 2017.
59. "Bakit namamaga ang internal organs
ng mga namatay umano sa Dengvaxia?" .
ABS-CBN News (in Tagalog).
60. "TV Patrol: Bangkay ng binatilyong 3
beses tinurukan ng Dengvaxia, sinuri"
ABS-CBN News – via YouTube.
61. "TV Patrol: Duque, sinugod ang mga
ospital na 'tumanggi' sa naturukan ng
Dengvaxia" ABS-CBN News – via
(1:41-1:47) ...Hindi naman pala puno ang
hospital pero wala lang daw bakanteng
kwarto noon para sa kaso ng bata.
62. "Bandila: PAO, binabatikos dahil sa
'panic' sa Dengvaxia" (in Tagalog). ABS-
CBN News — via YouTube.

External links
TIMELINE: The Dengvaxia controversy
Retrieved from

Last edited 15 days ago by an ano…

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