DBM, DOH to seek supplemental budget for Dengvaxia recipients

March 21, 2018 - 6:23 PM
Empty dengvaxia vials are seen in this December 2017 file photo by KJ Rosales, Phil. Star

MANILA – The Department of Budget and Management and the Department of Health will request for a supplemental budget for the Assistance to Dengvaxia vaccinees program after Zuellig Pharma refunded PHP1.16 billion of unused vaccines, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said Wednesday.

In a briefing, Diokno said the refund was made sometime last February and the fund is now with the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr).

For DBM and DOH to use the said funds, these agencies need to request the House of Representative’s Committee on Appropriations for a supplemental budget for the assistance program for about 870,000 dengaxia recipients.

The DBM chief said the fund will cover the vaccine recipients’ hospitalization cost and outpatient health services if they need it.

It will also be used for the deployment of nurse health education and promotion officers and the distribution of medical kits to those vaccinated with Dengvaxia, he said.

Diokno added that the Department of Education (DepEd) has been tapped to check the identity of the students who were immunized with the vaccines.

The vaccine was given in 2016 to public school students aged nine and older and are from the National Capital Region (NCR) and Regions 3, 4-A, and 7 – – areas where dengue cases are high.

The Philippines is the first country to use the vaccine, produced by France-headquartered pharmaceutical giant Sanofi.