"Aquino Has No Concern for the Filipino Children and Their Parents"

In the Philippines' Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on the Dengvaxia controvery, officials in the previous administration including former president Noynoy Aquino are labeled as “primary conspirators” and must be held criminally liable for “all the tragedy, damage, and possible deaths” resulting from the Dengvaxia mass vaccination program. Scientists from Sanofi Pasteur, the maker of the vaccine, have recently published a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine, confirming the higher risk of severe dengue in vaccinated persons who had not been exposed to dengue (seronegative individuals).

The results are summarized in the following figure:

Above copied from
S. Sridhar, A. Luedtke, E. Langevin, M. Zhu, M. Bonaparte, T. Machabert, S. Savarino, B. Zambrano, A. Moureau, A. Khromava, Z. Moodie, T. Westling, C. Mascareñas, C. Frago, M. Cortés, D. Chansinghakul, F. Noriega, A. Bouckenooghe, J. Chen, S.-P. Ng, P.B. Gilbert, S. Gurunathan, and C.A. DiazGranados. Effect of Dengue Serostatus on Dengue Vaccine Safety and Efficacy. The New England Journal of Medicine. June 13, 2018



For severe dengue, the risk in vaccinated seronegative individuals is six times higher than those who have not been vaccinated. The Manila Standard reports Aquino's continuing adamancy on this issue:
Former President Benigno Aquino III said Monday the benefits of an anti-dengue vaccine that was administered to 830,000 children under his watch outweighed the risks.
He said the vaccine was effective for 30 months after it is given and only 0.2 percent of those who did not have previous dengue infections would likely suffer from a severe infection.
I am not sure where Aquino gets the 0.2 percent number. Nonetheless, a perspective from Dr. Lisa Rosenbaum published in the same issue of the New England Journal of Medicine highlights the morality that Aquino sorely misses:
We wouldn’t, for instance, prematurely end the life of a man who’s had a disabling stroke, even though his organs could be used to save five other patients’ lives.
And as Rosenbaum points out, the damage goes much farther than placing serongative children at greater risk of severe dengue:
Dengvaxia vaccination campaigns may cause public backlash leading not only to decreased dengue-vaccination rates, but to heightened skepticism about all vaccines.
Aquino's rationale for dengvaxia is probably no different from his rationale for his ill-designed K to 12 curriculum in basic education. He probably does the same calculation to convince himself that the greater good is achieved, never mind if there are casualties. Basic education is not about greater numbers or percentage. Basic education is education for all. And all means all, the same way we apply morality in medicine.

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