THE BUDGET DEPARTMENT will ask the House committee on appropriations to file a supplemental budget that would allow the use of the refunds from unused Dengvaxia vaccines.

This comes after French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi Pasteur refunded P1.16 billion to the government last January.

Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said that the supplemental budget would enable the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to release the funds to the Department of Health (DoH), which would be used to provide medical assistance to Dengvaxia vaccine recipients.

“The supplemental budget would allow the utilization of around PhP 1.16 Billion worth of refund from Zuellig Pharma, the local distributor of Sanofi Pasteur. The refund was made by the pharmaceutical company to cover the amount of the unused Dengvaxia vaccines,” Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said during a press briefing on Wednesday.

He said that the amount would cover the medical assistance program for medical kits, hospitalization, outpatient health services of patients that received the Dengvaxia vaccines. It would also fund the deployment of Nurse-Health Education and Promotion Officers (HEPOs).

Mr. Diokno said that the amount would cover about 870,000 Dengvaxia recipients, at P500 per vaccinee for the outpatient care package, and P300 per vaccinee for the medical kits.

The outpatient care package includes a Complete Blood Count (CBC), NS1 antigen test, urinalysis, medications and other required laboratory tests.

The medical kits, on the other hand, contain one thermometer, one mosquito repellent, two bottles of multivitamins, and one package bag.– Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan