In April 4, 2016, former President Noynoy Aquino personally witnessed when then Department of Health Secretary Janette Garin administered the first dose of Dengvaxia to a nine-year old grade school pupil.
In his speech, he emphasized the former government’s efforts in improving the health services in the country.
Through this Dengue Vaccine School-based Immunization, it amplified the provision of free dengue vaccine to indigent public school students in three regions in the country with the highest dengue incidence, including the National Capital Region (NCR), Regions III (Central Luzon), and IV-A (Calabarzon).
The Pnoy administration purchased a P3.5 Billion worth of Sanofi Pasteur’s Dengvaxia even if WHO warned some risks before issuing its safety guidelines.
Philippines, in 2016 was among the 5 countries licensed the use of Dengvaxia together with Mexico, Brazil, El Salvador and Paraguay but the one and only country who introduced it as a massive vaccine targeting 4th grade students (9-10 years old) in 3 high endemic regions (1 million children). (WHO Document)
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Fast-track 2017, the World Health Organization document stated that Dengvaxia was later found out to be dangerous, but only after it was been used already for more than 700, 000 children in the Philippines.
WHO said that children 9 years old and above who are vaccinated when seronegative could be at an increased risk.
Doc Willie Ong, who was a former consultant of the Department of Health wrote on his Facebook post the total risks on the issue regarding the Dengvaxia Vaccine.
He answered the questions:
Why the vaccine was given to children when it can possible bring harm to them?
To those who has former dengue infection, Dengvaxia can help to avoid further complications of dengue. It has benefits. But for the 10-20% Filipinos who don’t have Dengue infection, it can possibly be harmful when inflamed with dengue someday.
Who will be blamed for the mishap?
According to Doc Ong, it’s hard to answer this question. The results just came in on November 29, 2017, that the vaccine can trigger harm to children who were not inflamed yet with dengue. There was already some hints before that it can possibly be dangerous but bacuase of the WHO statement in April 2016 that a country can administer it according to their own judgment. It’s hard also to go against WHO without some proper evidence.
What will happen to those children vaccinated with Dengvaxia? What we will do now?
Doc ong answered that if your children were vaccinated with Dengvaxia vaccine, there is nothing to do for now. But in his opinion, he will not continue the next batch of vaccinations. There should be a blood test first. Mostly 80-90% who were vaccinated can benefit from it. But the 10-20% who had not experienced dengue yet should be careful not be inflamed with dengue fever. Avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
RJ Nieto aka Thinking Pinoy, posted a very speculative statement on Pnoy’s Dengvaxia campaign.
The vaccination campaign was already stopped through the efforts of DOH Secretary Francisco Duque saying that, ““Yung first dengue vaccine provides a 30-month protection. Well nagkakaproblema after that. Based on their more detailed report, after 30 months or two and a half years, du’n kailangan talagang magmamatyag ng mas intensified ang surveillance kasi du’n nila napuna based on their long term clinical trial data analysis du’n lumalabas ‘yung severe disease”.”