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Valenzuela health office to hold anti-dengue vaccination anew
Photo by: Rodrigo De Guzman
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For the second time since April, the City Health Department from June 20 to July 1 is making the rounds of public elementary schools in Valenzuela City to inoculate with the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia the more than 8,674 schoolchildren who missed the first vaccinations.

This is part of the Department of Health and Department of Education’s anti-dengue immunization drive among nine-year-old Grade Four pupils launched in March.

Andrea de Jesus, co-coordinator of the local Dengue Control and Prevention Program, said when the local health office first held the vaccinations on April 19 through April 27, only 2,344 pupils, or 21 percent of the target 11,018, returned to the schools to receive the first of the required three doses. The children were given the vaccine with consent of their parents, de Jesus said.

De Jesus said the low turnout can be attributed largely to the time of the vaccinations coinciding with the summer break when most of the children were on vacations with their families.

Except for children contracting fever right after the vaccination, the office has yet to receive any report of the vaccine having adverse effects, de Jesus said. The fever is typical in children after an inoculation, de Jesus added.

As with the first, the catch-up vaccinations will be held at public elementary schools. Parental consent will again be required before the children are vaccinated.

The second and third doses will be given on December 2016 and April 2017.

Dengvaxia is the world’s first anti-dengue vaccine and is currently used in only two countries, Mexico and the Philippines. It is manufactured by the French pharmaceutical Sanofi Pasteur.

Dengue, or dengue hemorrhagic fever, is caused by the virus transmitted by the Aedes aegypti, a mosquito species that bites during the day. Its symptoms include high fever, skin rashes, vomiting, and muscular pain.

The infection affects 50 to 100 million people in over 100 countries, the World Health Organization reports. In the Philippines in 2015, more than 200,000 were afflicted with dengue, DOH data show.

For questions, the CHD’s Surveillance Unit may be contacted at 352-1000 local 1107.  You may also reach de Jesus at 09176915754.

2016-06-14 | By: Rafael Carpio Cañete

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