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Public told: Don’t shun immunization program


By Charina Clarisse Echaluce

Amid the dengue vaccine issue, the public was told Sunday by the Department of Health (DOH) not to shun the government’s immunization programs.

A GROWING CONCERN – Used vials of the Dengvaxia vaccine that was administered to elementary students in Manila wait to be inventoried at the Manila Central Vaccine storage room Monday. Health authorities are being urged to create a database of children who have been given dengue shots so they could be properly monitored. (Jansen Romero | Manila Bulletin)

(Jansen Romero | Manila Bulletin)

Health Undersecretary Herminigildo Valle assured that there is no reason for parents not to complete the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) of the government.

“Other vaccines are clearly beneficial. [The DOH] continues to recommend them,” said Valle.

He noted that there is no reason to avoid vaccines against measles, Chicken Pox, diphtheria, tetanus, and influenza, among others.

“They have been well established for a long time already,” Valle emphasized.

He warned that avoiding such vaccines would only endanger lives of more children.

“It will increase the risk of contracting serious vaccine- preventable diseases,” the official stressed.

Other vaccines provided by the DOH under the EPI are those against tuberculosis, hepatitis B, polio, meningitis, mumps, measles, pneumonia, and tetanus.

It can be recalled that a lot of parents began to panic following Sanofi Pasteur’s announcement about its vaccine Dengvaxia, which was used in the government’s mass immunization program where over 830,000 children received at least one dose.

“The analysis confirmed that Dengvaxia provides persistent protective benefit against dengue fever in those who had prior infection…. For those not previously infected by dengue virus, however, the analysis found that in the longer term, more cases of severe disease could occur following vaccination upon a subsequent dengue infection,” Sanofi said in a statement.

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