US soldiers in PH ‘suitable test subjects’ for Dengvaxia, says solon
Sanofi Pasteur, the French manufacturer of the controversial Dengvaxia, should test the anti-dengue vaccine on American soldiers deployed in the Philippines, Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel said on Sunday.
Pimentel aired his suggestion after Sanofi Pasteur announced that it was seeking approval of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the use and sale of the vaccine in the US.
“American soldiers on training missions here would be suitable test subjects in further Dengvaxia human clinical trials, considering that the US military itself has for years been trying to develop an effective vaccine against dengue,” Pimentel said in a statement.
According to Pimentel, the US military has been pushing for a vaccine to protect troops before they are deployed to dengue-endemic areas.
“This is a matter of public record. In fact, at one point, a joint US Navy and Army research program actually began human clinical trials for another candidate vaccine against dengue,” he said.
Pimentel, chairman of the House committee on good governance and public accountability that investigated the Dengvaxia fiasco, said the French pharmaceutical giant should have sought US FDA’s approval before introducing the vaccine to the Philippines.
“In retrospect, Sanofi should have sought FDA approval for Dengvaxia before introducing the vaccine here in the Philippines, and before our own public health and drug regulators allowed the use of the biological preparation on our children,” Pimentel said.
The Department of Health is still conducting an investigation into the reported deaths of children who were inoculated with Dengvaxia.
Cases have been filed against former President Benigno Aquino III and his Cabinet members over the allegedly anomalous purchase of P 3.5 billion worth of Dengvaxia doses. /je
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