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DOH asking WHO if 500,000 Dengvaxia-vaccinated Pinoys need to complete three doses

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The Department of Health (DOH) is asking for a guideline from the World Health Organization (WHO) on how to proceed with at least 500,000 children who have yet to complete the three doses of Dengvaxia dengue vaccine.

DOH Assistant Secretary Lyndon Lee Suy told Unang Hirit that the WHO is set to meet this week in Geneva to discuss issues on Sanofi Pasteur's Dengvaxia.

He said that among the issues that will be discussed is if those who have been initially vaccinated with Dengvaxia in the Philippines should complete the required three doses at 0-6-12 month interval.

Lee Suy said more than 700,000 Filipinos, mostly public schoolchildren, have been vaccinated with Dengvaxia and only at least 200,000 were able to complete the three doses.

"It will part of the discussion now. Ni-raise namin sa WHO," he said. "They are meeting next week sa Geneva and they are coming up with a guideline on that."

He said the DOH raised the possibility of completing the three doses for those who have been vaccinated even after suspending the dengue immunization program after Sanofi Pasteur issued an advisory that the vaccine should not be administered to those who have not been afflicted with dengue.

Sanofi Pasteur said dengue-free patients may get severe dengue if vaccinated with Dengvaxia.

Lee Suy, meanwhile, assured the public that the DOH will continue its five-year monitoring of those who have been vaccinated with Dengvaxia.

"We have the master list and address [vaccinated schoolchildren] and we are coordinating with DepEd (Department of Education)," he said.

The Food and Drugs Administration ordered Sanofi Pasteur to suspend the sale and distribution of the dengue vaccine. It also ordered the withdrawal of Dengvaxia from the market. —ALG, GMA News

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