Press Release
February 7, 2018

Public health should not be used as 'political tool'--Sen. JV Ejercito

SENATOR JV Ejercito on Tuesday expressed concern over the public's loss of confidence on government's immunization programs due to the unnecessary fears and anxieties caused by the Dengvaxia controversy.

"I urge the public to remain calm. I also urge all parties to be more responsible in issuing statements that would tend to confuse the public and add fuel to the fire," Ejercito said as the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee continued its probe on the controversial vaccine program,

Ejercito, chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, cited reports that the Dengvaxia issue has negatively impacted the other immunization programs of the Department of Health (DOH).

"Parents are becoming more fearful in giving their consent for their children to be vaccinated even when they are proven safe," he said.

The DOH earlier noted a 37 percent decline in the number of children getting vaccinated, including the deworming program, which does not even inject children.

"I am also a parent and my son was given three shots of Dengvaxia so I also worry but I assure our people that unlike Dengvaxia, the other immunization programs of the DOH are safe as they went through extensive clinical trials," Ejercito said, adding that he understood what parents are feeling because of the controversy.

He urged the government to work doubly hard to bring back the public's confidence in the immunization programs.

"This is a serious public health issue. I urge everyone not to use this as a political tool to advance selfish agendas," he stressed.

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