MANILA – A Department of Health (DOH) official confirmed that the pullout of more than a million doses of the dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia, has begun and will continue until Monday.
“Nag-umpisa nang magkuha sa ating mga bodega sa RITM, PCMC, sa NCR office ng DOH at Region 4 and Region 7 (They have begun to take back the vaccines from the warehouses of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, Philippine Children’s Medical Center, and DOH offices in the National Capital Region, Calabarzon and Central Visayas),” DOH Undersecretary Enrique Domingo said in an interview at the DOH media relations unit in Manila Thursday.
Domingo said the pullout was done by Zuellig Pharma Corp., which distributed the vaccines to the regions where the dengue immunization program was carried out.
This would free up space at the warehouses to accommodate other vaccines, he added.
The move was the result of a recent meeting between officials of the DOH and Dengvaxia manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur, which agreed to refund the DOH for the unused dengue vaccines, some of which are set to expire in August.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Sanofi agreed to refund the DOH PHP1.18 billion for 1,187,815 vials.
The amount will be received in checks that will be issued upon the return of the stocks.
Meanwhile, Domingo said the return of the unused vaccines and the refund are not tied to any future step the DOH plans to take against Sanofi.
“Walang conditions on refund and return. Meaning, tatanggapin nila ito at ibabalik sa atin yung pera (No condition for the refund and the return. Meaning, they would accept the vaccines and return the money), without prejudice to any action that the DOH might want to take in the future,” Domingo explained.
He further said that Health Secretary Francisco Duque III had instructed them to keep intact some Dengvaxia samples, which the department could use in the future for any new development on the vaccine. PNA-northboundasia.com