Doctors urge DOH to lift ban on Dengvaxia amid ‘national dengue alert’
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) should lift its order banning Dengvaxia following the continuously increasing cases of dengue in the country.
This was the plea of the Doctors for Truth and Public Welfare (DTPW), who cited the urgency amid the declaration of a national dengue alert by the government.
“Now, as dengue cases continue to surge, the group is once again appealing to the DOH to be open to the return of the vaccine into the market,” DTPW said in a statement on Thursday.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is under DOH, permanently revoked the certificates of product registration issued to Dengvaxia products after vaccine-maker Sanofi Pasteur failed to submit post-approval documents in February this year.
In 2017, DOH halted its massive dengue immunization program using Dengvaxia after a belated advisory of Sanofi indicated patients who had no prior exposure to the mosquito-borne virus could suffer severe symptoms if immunized with the vaccine.
Minguita Padilla, DTPW co-convenor, called on the Philippine government to “listen to the scientific evidence” on Dengvaxia to address the spike of dengue cases in the country.
“At least make it available to physicians to offer for the millions of patients who can benefit from it. We further ask that our government leaders listen to the scientific evidence provided so that we can move forward for the sake of public welfare,” Padilla said.
The group of physicians also backed the World Health Organization’s decision to include Dengvaxia in its 2019 Essential Medicines List and List of Essential Diagnostics.
DTPW noted that the list includes medicine that “satisfy the priority health care needs of the population – to which people should have access to at all times, and in sufficient amounts.”
The group added that the anti-dengue vaccine is necessary after Health Secretary Francisco Duque III declared a national dengue alert.
Recent data from the DOH Epidemiology Bureau showed that 561 deaths and more than 130,000 dengue cases have been reported nationwide January 1 up to July 13 this year. /kga
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