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Dengue cases in Cebu down 49%; vaccination drive stepped up

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By Kier Edison C. Belleza

Cebu City – Dengue fever cases in Cebu dropped significantly in the first ten months of the year, compared to cases reported over the same period last year.

The number of dengue fever cases so far this year is 11, 478 dengue with 104 deaths.

This is 49 percent lower compared to what was recorded in January until November 4 last year, where 22, 460 cases were reported.

The number of dengue fever – related deaths over the same period last year was192.

Cebu City had the most reported cases (2,355) and deaths (31).

The cities of Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue followed with 1, 018 cases (10 deaths) and 746 cases (2 deaths), respectively.

Vaccination drive

At least 158, 718 children aged nine to 14 in Cebu province received the first dose of the anti-dengue vaccine under the Department of Health’s (DOH) community-based dengue immunization program.

Dr. Hayce Ramos, medical coordinator for Child Care Program of DOH-Central Visayas, said only those who received the first dose will be eligible for the second  of three doses which will be administered from December to February.

“Dengue is seasonal. Cases soar during rainy season. If it’s the other way around, then it drops. It also depends on the year, so definitely, according to the World Health Organization, vaccination is the only way for prevention,” Ramos said.

Vaccination schedule

“Those who weren’t vaccinated last June to August, they are not allowed to be vaccinated for the second dose,” she said.

The next doses are administered at six months interval from the last one.

Ramos said that DOH regional office personnel at the barangay level who will conduct a house-to-house visits to ensure everyone in their master list receives the succeding doses.

DOH-Central Visayas is urging the parents of those children who have received the first dose to coordinate with their respective local government units (LGUs) for the schedule of vaccination.

Total immunity

“If ever a child gets bitten by a mosquito, it’s either he will be given total protection or the case will not worsen. But that’s after the third dose. You get the immunity after the third dose,” she explained.

Ramos told the Manila Bulletin that LGUs have not submitted reports on the number of children who have not availed of the program and the total number of children within the target age group in their localities.

Asked if the free vaccination will be offered again next year, Ramos said there has been no directive so far from the DOH central office.

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