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Purchase of P3.5-B dengue vaccines hit

Sen. Richard J. Gordon has questioned the “indecent haste’’ in the purchase by the outgoing Aquino administration of P3.5-billion worth of dengue vaccines.

The vaccine was used in the inoculation of children although the World Health Organization has yet to issue its pre-qualification guidelines on the use of the vaccine, Gordon said.

“We cannot have people playing God and pretending to be God,’’ Gordon said of the purchase of dengue vaccine just a few months before then President Aquino was due to step down.

He said he would file a resolution calling for an investigation, in aid of legislation, into the purchase which has turned the Philippines into the “number one guinea pig in Asia’’ and exposed Filipino school children to danger.

In a privilege speech during the Senate’s plenary session to reiterate the disclosure he made during a budget hearing of the Department of Health, Gordon slammed the Aquino administration’s sudden decision, in December last year, to procure Dengvaxia, a dengue vaccine which had yet to be given pre-qualification approval by the WHO, and inoculate 230,000 schoolchildren by April of this year without having tested at least 200 children first, as required by WHO. (Mario B. Casayuran)

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