The good and bad of Dengvaxia
1. Sanofi-Pasteur developed a vaccine that will help in the prevention of Dengue Fever (that’s good!).
2. Sanofi-Pasteur sold a vaccine marketing it as having good efficacy and safety, despite (knowingly or unknowingly) questionable efficacy and safety (that’s bad!).
3. Philippine clinical Expert doctors claimed Dengvaxia had good efficacy and safety; and agreed with the government procurement of Dengvaxia because, either based on knowledge (that’s good!) and hopefully not because of undue influence (that’s bad!), the “benefits outweigh the risks (that’s good!)”.
4. Philippine research experts revealed the problem with the analysis of dengue vaccine research and the alarming safety issues of Dengvaxia (that’s good!). DOH did not listen (that’s bad!)
5. DOH purchased a Dengue vaccine they thought will prevent Dengue in the poor population of our country (that’s good!) ignoring the questionable safety and efficacy brought up by Philippine research experts (that’s bad!).
6. Parents with Dengue vaccinated children are worried about their children having severe Dengue (that’s bad!).
7. Clinical infectious disease expert doctors assure the public that severe Dengue (that can arise from “immunizing” seronegative children) only involves fever, headache, low platelet count — that which constitute the need for hospitalization and not the Dengue Shock syndrome which can lead to death (not sure if this is good or bad- depends on perspective.). All in all the Dengue vaccine should prevent Dengue (that’s good), not make it worse (that’s bad).
8. Sanofi-Pasteur spent a big deal developing a vaccine that will prevent Dengue (that’s good!). Did they cover-up questionable safety issues of this vaccine and lured the Filipinos to buying it because we’re gullible (God forbid!).
9. The Philippines spent a big amount to bring this vaccine for large-scale use in public schools despite objections of research experts and before more evidence of its efficacy and safety (maybe not gullible but proud.. too proud! You’re too proud Dr._______).
10. Overall (another all in all Ninang?), to the worried parents, there is still a higher probability of protection (your child is seropositive) than a probability of harm (your kid will be hospitalized for dengue infection if seronegative- consult early!). The point of research experts though is that this should have been disclosed to you, and you (thus) make an informed decision. (It would have been good!)
11. Time to do damage control- more government subsidy for possible hospitalization and treatment (that’s good!); and earnest prayers for our countrymen, vaccinated or unvaccinated, for protection; and our leaders, for wisdom and humility (that’s best!).
– Ninang thoughts while with muscle pains, body malaise, and fever (hope it’s not Dengue!)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)