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SC junks petition of Dengvaxia-vaccinated kids

The Supreme Court has dismissed a petition for continuing mandamus seeking to provide free medical services to children inoculated with the Dengvaxia vaccine.

In a 26-page decision promulgated in September 2022, the Supreme Court En Banc dismissed the petition, saying it cannot encroach upon the jurisdiction of the Executive department.

“This Court refrains from intervening in the discretionary functions and prerogatives of the Executive department,” it said.

“Moreover, considering that mandamus may only be granted to enforce clear legal rights provided by law, this Court should dismiss the petition for mandamus,” it added.

The case stemmed from a petition filed by 74 children through their parents against former Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and other officials over the government's anti-dengue immunization program.

The petitioners alleged that the respondents failed to "protect the right to health" of those who were subjected to the immunization program after Dengvaxia manufacturer, Sanofi, released a warning about "severe symptoms" for those who have never been infected by dengue prior to vaccination.

For its part, the respondents said the petition is moot because they have already accomplished the reliefs sought by the petitioners.

Meanwhile, the Court said the petition must also be dismissed for insufficiency of substance.

“Petitioners failed to ground their petition on scientific and empirical bases. They did not present studies and research which demonstrates that the vaccine failed to satisfy safety and health standards,” the Court said. —Joahna Lei Casilao / VAL, GMA Integrated News