DOH addressing possible pertussis vaccine shortage by May | Inquirer News

DOH addressing possible pertussis vaccine shortage by May

By: - Reporter / @zacariansINQ
/ 09:56 PM April 08, 2024

DOH sees pertussis vaccine shortage in May


MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday said vaccines against pertussis, commonly known as “whooping cough,” may face a shortage by May.

Pertussis is an acute respiratory infection caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis.


While treatable, it poses a threat to infants and young children, who are at risk of severe symptoms and life-threatening complications and outcomes.


“We have enough [vaccines], but mayroon…magkakaroon tayo ng shortage sometime in May. And ito iyong ina-address naming gap,” said Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa in a Bagong Pilipinas Briefing.

(We have enough vaccines, but there might be a shortage sometime in May. And this is the gap we are addressing.)

Herbosa said that the DOH has already ordered this year’s supply for the typical 5-in-1 vaccine for pertussis (or the pentavalent vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, haemophilus influenza B, and hepatitis) but is set to arrive by June, which means the DOH may need to order an older type of vaccine called DPT, which could only fight off diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis.

“Kasi  iyong pentavalent … ‘pag inorder mo tsaka pa lang nila ima-manufacture iyan tapos may land time iyan,” explained Herbosa.

(Because with the pentavalent vaccine, they only manufacture it once you place an order, and there’s a lead time for that.)

“So, we ordered the doses for this year. Early this year, may 120 days June pa siya dadating. Eh iyong supply ko mauubos ng May, so may parang short gap ako,” he added.


(Therefore, we placed orders for doses this year. However, even though we ordered early in the year, they will only arrive around June, approximately 120 days later. My supply will run out by May, so there’s a sort of short gap that I have to address.)

However, Herbosa also reminded the public that pertussis is treatable through antibiotics, stressing the importance of early detection and prevention.

“Kapag mayroon nag-whooping cough ang bata sa pamilya isolate na iyong mga kapatid para baka mag-develop ng symptoms tapos gamutin patingnan kaagad, para tingnan kaagad sa doctor kasi nagagamot naman siya,” he said.

(If a child in the family contracts whooping cough, isolate the siblings immediately to prevent them from developing symptoms. Seek medical attention promptly for evaluation and treatment by a doctor because it is treatable.)

Herbosa said that more than 890 cases of pertussis have so far been reported in the country as of March this year.

This, he said, is much higher than the 80 recorded infections over the same period in  2023.

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Among the recorded infections, 49 deaths have already been recorded – all of the children up to five years old.

TAGS: DoH, pertussis

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