By Jullie Yap Daza
What to do with Sanofi and Dengvaxia?
A wave of hearings will not assuage the fears of mothers and the kids who were vaccinated for protection against dengue but are now, as it turns out, at risk of a “severe” form of the disease.
Sanofi declares the vaccine is safe, with no deaths reported (after telling us “grave” symptoms won’t show ‘til two to five years later, counting from 2016). One of their executives told senators that to suspend the program would be “a disservice to the Filipino people.”
Health Secretary Duque demands a refund, however, calling their top brass “intellectually dishonest” after “you keep changing your statements.”
VACC head Dante Jimenez said it in one word, repeated countless times: “Tokhang!”
A lawmaker who shall remain anonymous until the time is right suggested that “we should just give some people their anti-rabies shots.”
I have a simple solution. Rx: Give them a dose of their own medicine.
Yes, vaccinate the very same people who selfishly, callously pushed a “world’s-first” at us, moved heaven and earth to implement such a massive program in the wink of an eye, and still have to explain if P3.5 billion was a price big enough for endangering our children.
What’s another hearing for? We won’t understand the technical jargon being bandied back and forth, and we will try to be fair and reasonable, but at the end of the day we have already passed judgment on the culprits. The great pharmaceutical firm swallowed its own bitter pill without any assistance from us – we were too accommodating, were we not? – so let’s give them and their cohorts a chance to prove that “Dengvaxia is safe,” by vaccinating them with, what else, Dengvaxia by Sanofi Pasteur.
Whether they’ll do it voluntarily or they have to be forced as our kids were, we will graciously fly them to Paris or anywhere in France, for the French people to know what this homecoming is all about. But because there might be no dengue-carrying mosquitoes in Paris, and anyway Paris won’t be more fun than Manila, we’ll fly them back to the Philippines and expose them to a high-incidence area (like Bulacan), then we wait and observe them, diligently, studiously testing the safety of the vaccine for a period of two years, no indecent haste here.
What would be the value of those hearings dragging on forever without the guilty ones going to jail or hospital?