Wednesday August 22, 2018

DOH-Western Visayas campaign to allay fear on vaccines intensified

THE Department of Health (DOH) Western Visayas has intensified its immunization campaign to allay the public's fear amid the Dengvaxia scare.

In a press conference at the Iloilo City Hall on Monday, April 16, DOH-Western Visayas medical officer Mary Jane Roches Juanico said the health workers are working double time to inform and educate the public about vaccines and eradicate the stigma caused by the Dengvaxia controversy.

Dengvaxia, the world's first licensed dengue vaccine, was introduced in 2016 when the DOH launched its anti-dengue vaccination initiative. The program, however, was stopped after Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccine maker, announced that it would be risky for individuals who were not previously infected with dengue. Thousands of children were given the vaccine.

Juanico noted that following the Dengvaxia scare, the number of children who took vaccines for measles, pneumonia and meningitis has decreased.

With this, Juanico said that to properly raise awareness and eradicate the stigma, they encouraged health workers to help conduct orientations to change the public's mindset.

The health office also launched video advertisements to inform the people about the importance of vaccines.

Juanico said they took the Dengvaxia controversy as a challenge for them to further promote the importance of immunization.

She said in August, they will again conduct school-based immunization in all schools in Iloilo.

They will also offer a weekly Iron Folic Acid Supplementation and Deworming services to the children, she said. (SunStar Philippines)