DOH-6 to monitor Dengvaxia effects

The Department of Health (DOH) in Western Visayas will help monitor children immunized with the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.

Western Visayas was not among the three regions that served as pilot areas for the school-based dengue immunization program in 2016.

Dr. Reynilyn Reyes, head of family, health and nutrition cluster of DOH-6, said they will just indicate in their surveillance if the patient has availed of the dengue vaccine when it was administered in Central Luzon, Calabarzon, the National Capital Region, and selected cities in the country for monitoring purposes.

In the meantime, those who availed of the vaccine from private clinics are advised to seek recommendations from the pediatricians who administered the vaccination, she said.

Both the Bacolod City Health Office and the Negros Occidental Provincial Health Office have confirmed the DOH had not provided Dengvaxia vaccines to school children in the city and the province.

On November 29, Sanofi Pasteur, manufacturer of Dengvaxia, reported that a vaccinated child may suffer from severe dengue if he/she has not had dengue before getting the immunization.

The dengue vaccination program was suspended by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III last week.

On Monday, Palace and Health officials allayed fears over the "severe dengue" risks that more than 700,000 children face, saying this classification by pharmaceutical firm Sanofi Pasteur is not deadly.

In a press conference held in Malacañang, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. and Health spokesperson Lyndon Lee Suy said Sanofi's classification of severe dengue differs from the DOH’s.

"The worry is on the term ‘severe dengue.’ But you see, there was a reclassification of what is mild, severe, and deadly dengue. And the ‘severe dengue’ that is mentioned by Sanofi will involve symptoms that include two days of fever and hemophilia, and having marks on the skin. It is not the deadly type of dengue,” Roque said.

Lee Suy, meanwhile, noted that only one out of 10, or 10 percent of over 700,000 Dengvaxia recipients, are at risk of getting infected with dengue, even after they received the vaccine.

“Meaning, the protection the vaccine should give will not really last that long. And Secretary (Roque) made mention regarding the manifestations. The severe that was being identified by Sanofi is totally different with our severe classification that is being used currently together with WHO (World Health Organization),” Lee Suy added. (with reports from PNA/SunStar Philippines)


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