Ruth Abbey Gita
UPON returning to the country following his five-day official visit to Russia, President Rodrigo Duterte went to visit his youngest daughter, Veronica “Kitty” Duterte, at a hospital in Davao City.
Kitty contracted dengue despite having been inoculated with the controversial anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.
The President’s daughter shared a video on her Instagram story featuring her father whom she fondly called “daddy shark”, while she was on a hospital bed.
The video was originally posted by Instagram user @n00bumi.
Kitty is among the more than 800,000 young Filipinos who were inoculated with Dengvaxia.
In December 2017, the Department of Health suspended the Dengvaxia vaccination program, following the admission of vaccine maker Sanofi Pasteur that inoculated children who had not contracted the virus prior to vaccination may be at greater risk of contracting severe dengue.
Sanofi Pasteur’s revelation sowed fear among parents, causing a decline in immunization coverage nationwide to 40 percent in 2018 from an average 70 percent in recent years.
The dengue cases in the country reached 307,700 from January to September this year, according to the Department of Health (DOH).
In August, the DOH declared a national dengue epidemic. In the same month, Duterte said he was open to reviving the Dengvaxia vaccine program, following the rise in dengue cases. (SunStar Philippines)