Capitol to release vaccines despite mayors’ worries

THE Department of Health (DOH) 7 will proceed with the roll-out of the dengue vaccines in the province.

This, after DOH 7 officials were able to get the blessing of Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III and the mayors of towns and component cities to proceed with the distribution.

Officials from DOH 7 and the Cebu Provincial Government made the agreement after a consultative meeting yesterday.

Dr. Jaime Bernadas, DOH 7 director, said that despite some questions regarding the vaccine’s safe use and efficacy, it will continue to be rolled out as ordered by DOH Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial.

Ubial, as DOH Secretary, has the authority to implement the National Immunization Program.

“The decision of the dengue vaccination to be rolled out to Cebu and other provinces is a decision made by the Secretary of Health. And as director of Region 7, I am bound to follow it,” Bernadas said.

But Bernadas said there is still a need to talk to the local chief executives considering that DOH has shifted from school-based to community-based distribution.

During a meeting, Davide said he has nothing against the distribution of dengue vaccines and that he supports the DOH 7 in its plan to distribute it in Cebu Province.

“It has been thoroughly studied by experts. I think we should take the opportunity since it is still free,” Davide said.

Davide is also happy that DOH 7 will provide information to parents about the vaccine’s effects on their children.

During the consultation meeting yesterday, some Cebu mayors expressed concern over the safety of the vaccine, one of whom was Argao Mayor Stanley Caminero, a doctor.

“We mayors have a bigger and very critical responsibility to our constituents. When you are a mayor, you are almost blamed for everything. We are trying to be sure that nothing wrong will happen if we allow the vaccination on our constituents,” Caminero said.

But Bernadas assured that the vaccine is safe for use especially for children ages nine to 14.

The vaccine should not be given to anyone who is allergic or have an allergic reaction to any component of the dengue vaccine.

It should not also be given to anyone who is immunocompromised. (JKV)
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