Duterte urges the public to get vaccinated

Marje Pelayo   •   January 30, 2019   •   5828

FILE PHOTO: Vaccination (Ina Fassbender / Reuters)

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte urged parents to avail of the government’s free vaccination program for their children.

The Chief Executive noted a decline in number of parents availing vaccination for their children since the Dengvaxia controversy.

The President encouraged the public not to fear immunization to protect children from possible outbreak of diseases.

“Simula ‘yung nagkaroon ng gulo dito maraming mga pamilya dito sa Pilipinas, hindi lang sa Malabon, na natakot ng mga itong vaccination at ayaw na. Do not be lulled and be complacent about it kasi ang sanggol talaga kailangan,” the President said.

“Iyong Dengvaxia lang kung ayaw ninyo okay lang. But lahat ng anak ninyo hindi naman tayo nagkulang sa bakuna. Because it is good and it is for the health of the person noong maliit pa hanggang lumaki,” he added.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III noted a 40% drop in measles vaccination in 2018 due to the public’s declining trust in government immunization.

This report, Duque said, is a alarming and definitely a cause of concern for the government as health experts project a possible outbreak if children lack protection.

“You’re going to have outbreaks, sooner than later,” the health official said. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Sanofi Pasteur optimistic Dengvaxia will be restored in PH market

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 15, 2019

French Pharmaceutical firm, Sanofi Pasteur expressed optimism that the Dengvaxia vaccine will be restored in the Philippine market.

In a statement, Sanofi Pasteur Philippines General Manager Jean Antoine Zinsou said they are open for a discussion with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Health (DOH).

He also clarified that Dengvaxia is safe and effective to use.

According to Zinsou, the said vaccine was only banned in the Philippines because of incomplete documents or due to “administrative consideration.”

“We definitely need to settle this issue. One way to do it is to discuss with FDA and see what is needed to have this revocation lifted,” he said.

Zinsou also said Dengvaxia is registered in 20 countries across the globe and is acknowledged by the United States Food Drug Administration and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Meanwhile, Sanofi agrees with the DOH that Dengvaxia is not a solution to the Dengue epidemic in the country.

READ: Dengvaxia won’t bring dengue cases down – DOH

“The vaccines that we are mentioning is not a solution or a silver bullet for the ongoing outbreak. We are open to any discussion with the health authorities to see what is needed, what do they need for the future,” Zinsou said.

In February this year, the FDA revoked the certificate of product registration of Dengvaxia.

Sanofi already filed an appeal two weeks ago and the DOH will release their decision on the issue on August 19.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

DOH belies bribery allegations by families of Dengvaxia vaccinees

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 12, 2019

Families of children who had Dengvaxia vaccine rally in front of the Department of Health in Manila, 01 October 2018. (Photoville International)

The Department of Health (DOH) has belied the accusation made by families of Dengvaxia vaccinees that they received a P50,000 bribe from the department.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III clarified that the P50,000 financial assistance did not come from the DOH.

“Iyang ayuda na iyan galing iyan sa Office of the President so hindi iyan galing sa DOH. Ito lamang ay dahil sa malasakit ng Pangulong Duterte para sa mga magulang na namatayan at gumastos para sa kanilang wake at paglibing at mga iba pang mga gastusin (That assistance came from the Office of the President, not the DOH. It was borne out of President Duterte’s concern for the parents of alleged Dengvaxia victims who had to pay for the wake, burial and other expenses),” he said.

This was after reports that several families of the Dengvaxia vaccinees are accusing the DOH of bribery after the department has offered them P50,000 financial assistance.

Several of them said they were asked to submit original documents and other information. They think these would be used as evidence in order to bring back the use of Dengvaxia amid the rise of dengue cases.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

DOH: Dengue death cases reach 661

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 12, 2019

Patients with dengue receive medical treatment at a hospital in Island Garden City of Samal, Davao del Norte, Philippines, 16 July 2019. (Photoville International)

Dengue death cases in the country have already reach 661, according to the latest record of the Department of Health (DOH) from January to July 27, 2019.

The overall dengue cases peaked at 167,000 which is double compared with the recorded cases in the previous year.

There are already 10 regions in the country that are on the Dengue epidemic threshold, including CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Central Visayas and BARMM.

Meanwhile, Ilocos and the National Capital Region (NCR) are on the alert threshold.

According to DOH Spokesman Usec. Eric Domingo, it won’t be until December before a decline in dengue cases could be seen.

“We are expecting the cases na talagang peak natin August, September, October hanggang November. Minsan ang mag- start pa lang decrease ng December (We are expecting the cases to peak in August, September, October until November. The decrease might begin in December),” he said.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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