SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

Philippines government to sponsor dengue vaccine for children

The Philippines government recently agreed to participate in a dengue vaccine trial that will last for 20 years, effectively vaccinating susceptible, poor children who live in areas that have high rates of dengue fever.

These children will be the first to receive the new vaccine.

“The fact that the three phases of the clinical trial have been concluded in the Philippines is a reflection of the efficiency and capability of Filipino researchers. This shows that the world recognizes Philippine expertise in the area of research,” Health Secretary Janette Loreto-Garin said.

As of 2013, the Philippines Department of Health confirmed 204,906 dengue fever cases. This figure broke all of the previous records with the National Dengue Prevention and Control Program, which was founded in 1993. The figure from 2013 is also 62.7 percent more than the median of cases over the previous five years.

In 2014, there was a small decline in cases. In 2015, there was a rise in dengue cases; an estimated 50 percent of the cases were located within three main urban regions. Each day, there are 220 Filipinos who contract dengue.

Health leaders intend for the vaccine to help protect people from contracting the virus.

“We are fortunate to be in this era wherein infectious diseases can now be prevented by vaccination,” Garin said.

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