Makati suspends anti-dengue vaccination program

MANILA -- The Makati City government immediately suspended its anti-dengue vaccination drive in light of recent news reports regarding the vaccine provided by the Department of Health (DOH) to local governments.

Mayor Abby Binay also ordered Makati Health Department (MHD) Officer in charge Dr. Bernard Sese to coordinate with Dep-Ed Makati and closely monitor the condition of students who were given the vaccines.

The vaccination drive for city government employees was also suspended until the DOH issues a clarification as well as concrete guidelines on their course of action.

The best thing we can do right now is to closely monitor the health of students as well as employees who received the anti-dengue vaccines. We will track down everyone who has been vaccinated and monitor their condition for any developments, Binay said in a statement.

Last August 14, Makati launched a city-wide vaccination program against dengue for children aged 9 to 14. The city received 65,000 units of anti-dengue vaccines from the DOH and mobilized doctors and nurses to cover all health centers as well as public elementary schools and high schools in Makati.

Dr. Sese said there are still several public high schools which have not received the anti-dengue vaccine. The schedule for these schools have been postponed indefinitely until DOH releases an advisory.

On Wednesday, Sanofi Pasteur, the manufacturer of the dengue vaccine Dengvaxia, released a statement saying the drug may be harmful when administered to individuals not previously infected with dengue.

The Philippines was the first country in Asia to approve the dengue vaccine for individuals aged 9 and 45 years old in December 2015.

The MHD noted however, that the vaccination drive for Japanese Encephalitis (JE) for both city government employees as well as public school students will continue.

Source: Philippine News Agency