The Dengvaxia controversy is scaring suppliers of vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), making them hesitant to provide the Philippines with their vaccines unless there is a mechanism to compensate those vaccinated who will experience adverse effects.
Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. on Wednesday said the Dengvaxia controversy that dragged pharmaceutical firm Sanofi Pasteur into court cases over alleged deaths of children who received its anti-dengue vaccine has made other drug firms hesitant to supply the Philippines with Covid-19 vaccines.
“Vaccine manufacturers have fears because they saw how Sanofi faced the Dengvaxia controversy,” he said during a televised news conference.
He said that the absence of an indemnification mechanism for those who will experience adverse conditions after getting vaccinated for Covid-19 has delayed the arrival of 117,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines into the country. Those were supposed to be shipped to the country as early as Monday (February 15, 2021).
Galvez also said the Philippines has submitted the required indemnification deal to vaccine manufacturers Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca through the COVAX initiative of the World Health Organization.
“Pfizer wants the assurance because they found out about lawsuits here surrounding Dengvaxia. We explained that it will not happen as much as possible,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte has certified as urgent a measure filed in the House of Representatives setting aside an indemnification fund for those who will be adversely affected by Covid-19 vaccines.
The government is aiming to vaccinate up to 70 million Filipinos so herd immunity can be achieved against Covid-19.