President Rodrigo Duterte's youngest daughter Veronica "Kitty" Duterte and two of former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte's children have received shots of the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine.
"May nagtanong kanina kung na-inject raw ba si Kitty at ‘yung dalawang anak ni Paolo, kinonfirm naman po ng mga nanay nila na positive po na-inject po,” Special Assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go said Tuesday.
Go said he had no information whether the children received the required three doses of the vaccine.
Veronica is Duterte's only child with common-law partner Honeylet Avanceña. Paolo, on the other hand, has five children.
The Department of Health stopped the government’s dengue immunization program last December following the admission of vaccine maker Sanofi Pasteur that the use of Dengvaxia must be strictly limited due to evidence it can worsen the disease in people who have not previously been exposed to dengue.
Last month, the World Health Organization’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) said the vaccine should only be used after testing on individuals to determine their serotype or whether or not they have been exposed to dengue beforehand.
According to the DOH, around 891,000 children — aged nine and above — from public schools in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and Cebu were vaccinated with Dengvaxia since it was launched in April 2016.
Of this number, 87 children have died from dengue and other illnesses, the DOH said in a House inquiry on Tuesday.
The President has since ordered a creation of a three-man panel of Asian health experts to look into safety concerns raised against Dengvaxia, the world’s first dengue vaccine. —NB, GMA News