DOH-CAR on Dengue Vaccine Dengvaxia
December 1, 2017
Dengvaxia, the first WHO-approved dengue vaccine in the world is manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur, a French pharmaceutical company. After extensive clinical trials, it was shown to be protective against the four serotypes of the dengue virus: Den-1, Den-2, Den-3, and Den-4. It was also found to be capable of decreasing the occurrence of severe dengue by about 83% and hospitalization by about 90%.
In 2016, the DOH immunized an estimated total of 700,000 public school students aged nine years old through the Dengue Immunization Program. This was implemented in the NCR, Region IV-A, and Region III – the regions having the highest incidence of dengue through the years. On December 1, the program has been put on hold by the DOH.
Despite that the Dengue Immunization Program was not implemented in the Cordillera Region, the vaccine was made available to the private sector by Sanofi Pasteur. This means that some citizens, including children, may have availed of the vaccine through private health practitioners.
On November 29, 2017, Sanofi Pasteur revealed a new analysis stating 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.”
Based on the entire analysis, those who are immunized with the vaccine, without previous dengue infection, are protected from dengue infection for at least 30 months. However, severe dengue could or may occur if they are bitten by an infected Aedes mosquito and no immediate consultation has been done. For this reason, everyone who has no dengue and who is vaccinated should be monitored for any signs of dengue and should seek early consultation.
The DOH-CAR is appealing to all medical practitioners in the Cordillera who provided Dengvaxia to their patients to conduct active surveillance and monitor and advise their patients to seek immediate consultation when having signs and symptoms.
To all individuals who received the vaccine, the best course of action is to avoid getting the disease through prevention. Their surroundings must be kept free from mosquito breeding sites. They must also exercise self-protection measures such as wearing protective clothing and using FDA-approved mosquito repellants.