Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Well-known political analyst on Dengvaxia issue: “A serious investigation based on facts as evidence should be done”

Antonio P. Contreras, a distinguished socio-political analyst and professor at De La Salle University, recently commented on the glaring Dengvaxia vaccine issue through one of his recently published Facebook posts.

It can be recalled that the said controversy was anchored on certain scientific findings and conclusion that the said Dengvaxia antibodies posit harm and threats to non-Dengue-infected children in contrast to those who had once undergone infection. 

The potential risks disclosed consequently caused a ripple of worry and anxiety to the people especially to the concerned parents.

Acknowledging the intensity of the issue, Contreras conformed to the public notion that those proven responsible behind the Dengvaxia blunder should be rightfully held accountable with corresponding punishment.

“Those who are responsible for the Dengvaxia fiasco should be held accountable, and if warranted, should be punished.” Contreras wrote starting his post.

“But we should also do things to ensure a rational response.” He rebutted shortly.

According to the socio-political analyst, while it is true that the controversy posit significant potential risks spreading false and sensationalized news about the Dengvaxia vaccine is intolerable and must be stopped.

“Let us cease from propagating misinformation about the nature of the threat. Let us not be harbingers of unscientific doomsday scenario that anyone who got vaccinated by it and has never been sick will get severe dengue.” Contreras appealed.

Elucidating certain logical facts about the vaccine, Contreras wrote:

“First of all, not getting sick is not an indication of not being infected. It is possible that one was healthy enough to ward off the infection. Hence, on this case the vaccine would have been beneficial.”

“Second, it is not the vaccine which will cause the dengue, but actual mosquito bites. So for people who were vaccinated but have never been infected, the focus should be preventive through well-known means of getting rid of the conditions for the vector to breed, as well as other ways such as wearing protective clothing.” He added.

Conclusively, the political analyst cautioned on the perils of inflicting public fear and anger as these do not help resolve the issue. And since the issue is already there and is apparently irreversible, Contreras claimed that holding those responsible behind this worrisome fiasco accountable and liable is the best thing the government could do.

“While it is easy to demonize and express irrational anger towards those responsible, fanning the fear and anger of the public is equally irresponsible, more if such is not based on science and logic….And those who say that this even amounts to genocide is muddling the optics further. What should be done is a serious investigation based on facts as evidence to make sure that those who were criminally and/or administratively negligent will be punished.” Contreras ended.

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