Today's Punto
Today's Punto
‘Nightmare’ in next 5 years
Of 205,058 vaccinated kids in CL, 400 seen to get ill with dengue
By Ding Cervantes

Jan 11, 2018

CLARK FREEPORT -- The regional director of the Department of Health (DOH) said that her agency faces a “nightmare” in Central Luzon in the next five years amid projections that at least 400 children who got anti-dengue vaccine shots in the region are likely to fall ill to the ailment, some severely.

In the Talk Widus forum of the Pampanga Press Club at the Widus Hotel and Casino here, DOH director for Central Luzon Dr. Elenita Gorgolon said “it’s going to be a nightmare in the next five years.”

She noted statistical estimates that of the total of 205,058 pupils given the initial dose of Dengvaxia all over Central Luzon, some 400 are likely to be stricken ill with dengue, a viral ailment transmitted by on the Aedes aegpyti mosquito.

Vaccine manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur had admitted late last year that the vaccine was not suitable for children with no history of dengue, as it would only expose them to severe dengue.

Gorgolon said, however, that the DOH will remain on its toes in monitoring the health of the “vaccinees,” as she urged parents to report immediately any illness observed in their vaccinated kids.

She urged parents of the children to immediately report any symptom of dengue in their kids, as she noted that the rapid diagnostic test (RDT) equipment distributed to local hospitals could confirm possible dengue cases only within the first five days of fever.

The DOH in the region has so far monitored 170 Dengvaxia-vaccinated chlldren who fell ill, but there is no final confirmation yet on whether any of them were stricken with dengue.

She said the DOH has a data base on the identities of the 205,058 kids given at least one of three doses of Dengvaxia in her region, and that the data base has been made accessible to government and private hospitals.

Gorgolon said the DOH will be signing an agreement with private hospitals on this, on top of plans for the government to provide funds for the benefit of Dengvaxia patients.

A material being distributed to the public, especially to the parents, said that PhilHealth would cover the medical cost of the children brought to government and even private hospitals, even if is ascertained later that the illness was not related to the vaccine.

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