Last September 28, 2018, St. Scholastica’s Academy Marikina (SSAM) learned about a maligning post by a group called STAP (Save the Angels Project) in its Facebook page.

In one of its posts dated September 27, 2018 at 9:27 pm, it criticized and accused the school run by the Benedictine sisters in relation to the school’s use of Dengvaxia vaccine as part of its dengue prevention program. The school allegedly gained financially, allowed the connivance between the school physician and a parent who is a Sanofi medical representative, covered up the cases of hospitalized students, and threatened parents to keep silent about the issue.

Upon inquiry and investigation, the school found out that there were SSAM parents who were invited to attend the Parents’/Leaders’ Forum at DOH Convention Hall last September 28, 2018, from 9:00 am-3:00 pm. As a requirement for their entry, they were asked to bring documents from the school (receipts, letters, etc.) to confirm that their daughters received the immunization. They did not know that these documents will be used and uploaded on social media. The manner by which these were used by STAP was clearly meant to discredit the school and cast dishonor not only to the administration but also to the Benedictine sisters.

St. Scholastica’s Academy Marikina (SSAM) vehemently and categorically denies any of those allegations. The school would like to answer each allegation point by point.

  1. On monetary gains

The school did charge the parents an amount of Php 3, 400 for the cost of each immunization shot which is lower than its suggested retail price range of Php 5000-6000 in private clinics. The payment was made through the school and the whole amount was remitted to Sanofi Pasteur Philippines, Inc. As a private institution, the school is not a recipient of the free vaccine coming from the Department of Health.

  1. On connivance between the school physician and a parent who is a Sanofi medical representative

The school’s conduct on the matter had been transparent and above board. The members of the Parents-Teachers Association Board (SSAM-PTA Board) were consulted regarding the proposal to disseminate among the parents the information about the immunization. The PTA Board approved the proposal including the Php 3,400.00 amount per dose, and so letters were sent to the parents. On voluntary basis, a total of 126 out of 3, 215 students availed of the vaccine, some of them are siblings of the students. Names of vaccine recipients were submitted and acknowledged by the Marikina City Heath Office and the Barangay Marikina Heights Health Center. There was no reason for the school at that time to doubt the government’s effort through the Department of Health in its use of Dengvaxia vaccine to prevent the rise of dengue victims.

The Sanofi Pasteur Philippines, Inc. medical representative is also not a parent of SSAM.

Monitoring and follow up was conducted among the vaccinated students. Some students received the complete dose of three shots while others discontinued upon learning the new findings about the vaccine. A circular containing the advice of Health Secretary Francisco Duque on what to do in case symptoms manifest was also distributed to the concerned students.

This matter has been referred to the school’s legal counsel for immediate and appropriate action.