Dengvaxia failed for 2,198 children in Central Luzon – DOH
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — Despite receiving the vaccine Dengvaxia, 2,198 children in Central Luzon turned up sick with dengue in the last eight months, according to reports of the Department of Health (DOH).
The children took part in the mass immunization program that vaccinated 205,449 public school students in the region between 2016 and 2017.
But no one had died among the 2,198 Dengvaxia recipients, said Dr. Jessie Fantone, regional DOH spokesperson, in a briefing on Friday.
These recipients belonged to 6,086 cases recorded among patients ages 11 to 20, which represented 41 percent of 16,107 cases reported from January until Sept. 1.
In this batch, 48 patients, with ages from 1 to 10, had died.
Advisory too late
Since Nov. 29 last year, the DOH report showed 1,219 patients fell ill from dengue fever, 971 showed signs of dengue infection, eight contracted severe dengue and 2,609 turned up with upper respiratory tract infection.
In November last year, French pharmaceutical company Sanofi issued an advisory that Dengvaxia should be given only to people who previously contracted dengue.
Vaccinated people who had never been infected could be vulnerable to a severe form of dengue, it said.
Fantone said the government secured the consent of the parents of the pioneer batch of recipients because the immunization program was launched before Sanofi released the advisory.
To help this batch, the DOH in Central Luzon hired 35 dengue surveillance officers. —Tonette Orejas
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