MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Voting 18-0, the Senate approved on 3rd and final reading the proposed P1.16-billion medical support fund for students who received the Dengvaxia dengue vaccine.
Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier urged lawmakers to pass the special fund as the DOH was “stretching its resources” to address the needs of students who got the risky dengue vaccine.
The proposed P1.16-billion fund will be used to shoulder the medical expenses and monitor the health of over 870,000 public school students who got the dengue vaccine through the government’s now-suspended immunization program.
The fund is broken down as follows:
Senator Loren Legarda, who sponsored the bill as chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, said the Bureau of the Treasury issued a certification that the P1.16 billion for the supplemental budget was available in the National Treasury.
The House of Representatives earlier passed its version of the bill on the proposed special fund in May 2018.
The Dengvaxia controversy started in November 2017 vaccine after it released an advisory warning that its vaccine could cause a person to later develop severe dengue if he or she had not been infected by the virus prior to immunization. – Rappler.com