600 Marikina students to receive dengue vaccine shots
MANILA — Some 600 public school students in Marikina City are set to receive on Monday (Apr. 4) the world’s first dengue vaccine, which officials hope would lessen children’s susceptibility to the deadly mosquito-borne disease.
Parang Elementary School students aged 9 will be among the country’s first recipients of the dengue vaccine manufactured by French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi. It will be administered to them following a short program at the school at 9 a.m.,Monday, according to local officials.
Dr. Honielyn Fernando, Marikina’s assistant city health officer, said that it has been proven in a study that the dengue vaccine would be “most effective” in children aged 9.
But according to Fernando, while the vaccine is generally safe, different people may have different reactions to the vaccine, like any other vaccines. In such cases, she said the Marikina City health office has “prepared” to attend to adverse reactions.
Earlier, some doctors expressed concern on the government’s planned rollout of the vaccine ahead of a recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO).
Dr. Gundo Weiler, the WHO country representative, however, said on Thursday, that the absence of their organization’s recommendation should not prevent the country from implementing its public health programs.
Based on data from Marikina’s health office, the city recorded 487 dengue cases in 2015. Mayor Del de Guzman expressed hope that the vaccine would lessen their residents’ susceptibility to the dengue virus. He advised the public to remain vigilant against the dengue virus even with the availability of a vaccine.
“I encourage all Marikeños to do their share in fighting dengue. They can do so by keeping their surroundings clean, by regularly replacing water in flower vases and by applying insect repellent when staying outdoors,” De Guzman said in a statement. SFM