MANILA -- The Department of Education (DepEd) vowed on Saturday it will closely monitor students administered with anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia, following reports that the world's first-ever dengue vaccine poses risk to individuals with no prior dengue infection.
"As the health and safety of our learners are of principal importance, the [DepEd], in close coordination with the [DOH], will monitor the condition of learners who have been administered with the dengue vaccine Dengvaxia, the DepEd said in a statement.
The department said it will be "actively participating in the review and consultations" of the Department of Health (DOH) on the dengue immunization drive.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque earlier ordered the suspension of the dengue vaccination program on Friday, December 1, after pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur disclosed that the Dengvaxia vaccine could lead to more severe symptoms for people who had not been previously infected by the virus.
Following its analysis, Sanofi confirmed that Dengvaxia only provides "persistent protective benefit" against dengue fever in those who had prior infection.
Duque assured the public that there had been no reports of deaths among children who had no prior dengue infectionn and were administered with Dengvaxia, and called on the parents of children that were vaccinated not to panic.
As of November 2017, Duque said children ages 9 and above were administered with the anti-dengue vaccine in the National Capital Region, Central Luzon, and Calabarzon.
The dengue immunization drive was initiated by the Aquino administration's last health chief, Janette Garin.
More than 700,000 children received at least one of three doses of Dengvaxia.
Source: Philippine News Agency