FILE PHOTO: Department of Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire. INQUIRER file photo / EDWIN BACASMAS
MANILA, Philippines — As dengue cases in the country soar, the Department of Health (DOH) said Friday it will “thoroughly” study and gather evidence on available vaccines for the mosquito-borne disease.
DOH officer-in-charge Ma. Rosario Vergeire said their office is always open to the use of new technology, including vaccines.
“What we are doing right now in the department would be gathering evidence, studying it and once we have completed that, we will be convening our experts,” she said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.
“So we will study this thoroughly para magkaroon naman tayo ng rekomendasyon para sa ating Presidente kung saka-sakali (So we will study this thoroughly so we can have a recommendation to the President),” she added.
READ: Dengvaxia works if used properly, says infectious disease expert
Dengvaxia is the world’s first commercially available vaccine against dengue fever – and probably the only one to date.
In 2017, its manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur said the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia poses a risk to those inoculated but were not previously infected by dengue.
READ: Citing risks, DOH stops P3.5-B dengue vaccine drive
Recently, as dengue cases nationwide continue to increase, experts reiterated their call for authorities to again consider using Dengvaxia in the country, which currently has no anti-dengue vaccine available since the Food and Drug Administration permanently revoked its certificate of product registration following a controversy linking it to the deaths of children who received the shot.
But in January 2019, the DOH said no death has been confirmed to be directly attributable to Dengvaxia.
“Kailangan nakikita natin kung sino na ‘yung mga nagkasakit ng dengue para makikita natin kung sino ang pwedeng turukan. Pero katulad nga ng sabi ko, pauna pa lang na paga-aaral ito,” Vergeire said.