DOH to decide in two weeks on the use of Dengvaxia
The Department of Health (DOH) will decide within the next two weeks whether the government will reintroduce the antidengue vaccine Dengvaxia amid the rising cases of the mosquito-borne disease.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said on Monday that he was set to update the President in Monday’s Cabinet meeting on the dengue situation in the country as well as the issues and recommendations on the use of Dengvaxia.
He noted that one of his recommendations was to seek the opinion of the Philippine General Hospital-Dengue Investigative Task Force, which looked into the cases of those who were inoculated with Dengvaxia.
“We want to know their opinion on reintroducing [Dengvaxia] to the market and what are the possible changes in the protocols and guidelines,” Duque said over radio dzBB.
Last week, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Duterte administration was open to using Dengvaxia should experts agree that this could help stem the rising number of dengue cases in the country.
As of July 20 this year, 146,062 dengue cases, with 622 deaths, have been recorded. The figure is double compared to the same period last year when there were only 73,818 cases.
Duque said that since Dengvaxia’s use had been “controversial,” it was important for them to be able to reach a consensus among experts.
Developed by French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi, Dengvaxia was given to more than 891,000 school-aged children in April 2016 to stem the rising number of dengue cases.
But in December 2017, the DOH halted the vaccination program after Sanofi said that Dengvaxia caused severe dengue to those who have not been infected with the virus.
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