By Charina Clarisse Echaluce
Pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur is set to retrieve all the over one million doses of unused vaccines by Friday, and must reimburse those one to two days after the retrieval, the Department of Health (DOH) disclosed.
In a late afternoon press briefing Tuesday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the he and other DOH officials have met and discussed the Dengvaxia issue with representatives from the dengue vaccine’s manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur and from the World Health Organization (WHO).
“I’m pleased to inform you that steering committee had met with the Sanofi Pasteur and in particular we met with Dr. Joselito Sta. Ana who is Sanofi Pasteur cluster head of the Philippine-Indonesia operation, among others,” Duque said.
He disclosed that the pharmaceutical company has positively responded on the agency’s demand to refund the unused vaccines.
“Sanofi will retrieve the remaining stocks until Friday this week. And the remaining stocks, as of the latest count, are 1,187,815 doses of Dengvaxia which is equivalent to P1,187,815,000,” he stated.
“It was also agreed with Sanofi that reimbursement will be in about one to two days after retrieval,” he added.
Meanwhile, when asked if the Sanofi would shoulder the testing of the children to determine past dengue infection, Duque said, “They said that they will send us a letter explaining the testing kit, NS1 Antigen. There was a brief discussion. But I said, for the benefit of everyone, it might be good that we have read the letter of Sanofi first and we will resume talks after the we read the full text of their letters in respond to our request or our demand for testing kits, to be able to differentiate the vaccinees who were seronegative and those who were seropositive.”
“It’s a test that was developed in research context and we do not have the data at this point in time but Sanofi promised to share full data with the DOH. And with that data, I think we can see what the potential benefit of the test would be,” WHO representative Gundo Weiler added.