The Department of Health (DOH) declared “National Dengue Alert” last July 15, 2019, due to the abrupt increase of dengue cases in the Philippines. Proposal for Dengvaxia vaccines revival opened to provide solution for alarming dengue outbreak.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said that Duterte’s government is open to re-consider the use of the controversial vaccine. Panelo added that the government considers to introduce the vaccine in public once proves safe to use by the experts.
The controversial Dengvaxia vaccine
The DOH presented the Dengvaxia vaccine to the public last 2014 as for World’s Health Organization mandate in the year 2012. However, the use of controversial vaccine halted due to ten deaths in the year 2017 that was said linked to Dengvaxia.
The Dengvaxia manufacturer, French Pharmaceutical Sanofi Pasteur, announces in November 2017 that the vaccines are for those previously infected by the virus. However, people will get severe dengue if they are not previously infected but vaccinated.
The Government might re-consider Dengvaxia use
Duterte’s Spokesman Salvador Panelo said that the government is open in using the controversial vaccine again if experts prove it safe to use.
“We need to thoroughly investigate exactly the situation involving Dengvaxia. Certainly, if the weight of the findings [by experts] show that there is benefit in using Dengvaxia against dengue, then certainly the government should consider it.” Panelo said.
“We’re always open to anything that will benefit the Filipino people. We’re not closed to any suggestion,” he added.
US expert is wary of Dengvaxia use
US based-scientist, Dr. Scott Halstead, said that the proposal for the revival of Dengvaxia vaccine makes no sense.
“No one is making any sense. If I were the government I would not let Sanofi back unless they made some significant contributions to lower the burden of dengue,” said Dr. Halstead.
Dr. Halstead once warned the Philippine government about the use of Dengvaxia vaccine but disregarded.
“Dengvaxia does protect (to some degree) those children specifically at risk to a severe dengue illness. With adequate screening of each individual, the vaccine would help the Philippines lower the awful toll this virus takes on your children,” he said.
However, he added that ‘with a positive serological test for dengue’ the vaccine must be given to children.
The Philippine government still waits for expert’s approval that Dengvaxia is safe to use.
Source: ABS – CBN News