CLARK FREEPORT — The Department of Health (DOH) confirmed here yesterday that at least 53 children who were given Dengvaxia anti-dengue vaccines succumbed to dengue anyway in Central Luzon where a total of 205,058 were given such vaccines.
In an interview, Health Assistant Secretary Dr. Leonita Gorgolon, who is concurrently DOH director for Central Luzon, also cited statistical estimates that of the vaccinated children in her region, about 410 are expected to contract dengue in the next five years, possibly including severe cases.
This, even as Dr. Cindy Canlas, DOH medical program coordinator for infectious diseases, also disclosed plans of the DOH to provide families of children given Dengvaxia shots with organic anti-mosquito lotions for free.
Canlas said her agency is yet choosing on the kind of lotion which must be listed in the Philippine National Drug Formulary.
Sanofi Pasteur, the manufacturer of the Dengfvaxia vaccines, had earlier admitted that the vaccine was not advisable for those who never had history of dengue, as this would expose them to “severe dengue.” Dengue is a viral ailment transmitted via bites from the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
Gorgolon said that surveillance conducted by her office in Central Luzon since the first week of December (2017) revealed a total of 53 students succumbing to dengue despite being inoculated with Dengvaxia in public elementary schools under the supervision of government health personnel.
“The number was gathered from hospital reports from all over Central Luzon,” she said. Gorgolon said, however, that the children either recovered or were still on their way to recovery. At the same time, Gorgolon also said the death of a girl who also was given Dengvaxia shots in Mariveles, Bataan was ascertained to be not related to Dengvaxia.
“It was merely circumstantial that she got the vaccination,” she added. Gorgolon stressed the importance of immediately reporting to health authorities any illness that would be related to dengue among the vaccinated kids.
“There is misconception that dengue cases call for blood transfusion. In its initial stage, only hydration would be needed for recovery,” she said.
The DOH in Central Luzon initially gave Dengavaxia shots to 205,058 kids in the region, but only 188,187 kids were given second dose and 175,573 kids for the third and final dose.