June 17, 2024

The Department of Health is open to reviewing the data and benefits of the Dengvaxia vaccine as dengue cases continue to rise in the country, an official said.

Infectious disease expert, Dr. Rontgene Solante, said it is high time for the government to review the benefits of the vaccine which is the prevention of hospitalization and prevention of severe dengue.

“The government together with the Department of Health is always open to new technology especially if evidence can show that it can really protect our population,” Health Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

The certificate of product registration of Dengvaxia was revoked in 2018 following the announcement of its manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur, that its administration “may lead to more severe symptoms among those who have never been infected by the dengue virus prior to vaccination.”

“For us to be able to bring back this kind of vaccine, kailangan completed na ang evidence natin, marami tayong proseso at pag-aaral na kailangan isagawa para magawa natin lahat ito,” Vergeire said.

She added the manufacturer must be compliant with the country’s regulations apart from careful study and input from health experts.

Fifteen out of the country’s 17 regions have exceeded the alert or epidemic threshold from May 29 to June 25.

These include Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, Soccsksargen, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Cordillera, and the National Capital Region.

The Ilocos Region is yet to reach the threshold.

Kapag lumalagpas ang area dito sa epidemic threshold, ibig sabihin, ‘yung number of cases sa isang lugar is more than what has been expected because we compare our trends or number of cases from the previous years’ cases with the same period,” Vergeire said.

The current dengue situation is worrisome as cases rise in most regions along with increasing Covid-19 infections, she added.

The dengue virus mostly affects individuals 15 years old and below. – PNA