The Department of Health (DOH) welcomes World Health Organization’s (WHO) recent statement on dengue vaccine introduction in countries with greater than 50% prevalence among age group targeted for vaccination. This is consistent with DOH introduction in the three regions involving schoolchildren in grade 4 (at least 9 years old) who are enrolled in public schools in Regions III, IV-A, and National Capital Region (NCR).
From April to July 2016, more than 489,003 eligible children received their first dose. The second and third dose will be given 6 months and 12 months after the first dose respectively.
Despite the vaccine introduction, DOH continues to implement other measures to prevent rising cases of dengue in Regions CALABARZON, Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR), Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, and Davao Region. Effective dengue control requires concerted community efforts that will eliminate mosquito breeding sites and reducing mosquito population through integrated mosquito control.
“DOH is monitoring vaccine efficacy because of earlier reports that the current dengue vaccine has less than 50% protection against dengue serotypes 1 and 2, which are the most common circulating serotypes in the country. Previous infection prior to vaccination and circulating serotypes affect vaccine efficacy.” Health Secretary Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial said.
The public is advised to intensify household measures with local government initiatives. Local governments are likewise advised against indiscriminate fogging or space spraying. Those with fever are advised to consult early.
The health chief added that hospitals should establish dengue express lanes to prevent overcrowding. Not all dengue patients will need hospitalization. A good number can be observed and managed at home.
“This only proves that our country is on the right track in its incessant combat against dengue. Dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases may be prevented if we put our collected efforts and start our actions within our homes through the ‘4s campaign’. The 4S means Search & destroy mosquito breeding places, use Self-protection measures,Seek early consultation for fever lasting more than 2 days, and Say NO to indiscriminate fogging.” Secretary Ubial concluded.