Tuesday, April 26, 2016


The Department of Health (DOH) discloses the latest coverage of Dengue School-Based Immunization which was started last April 4, 2016. As of April 24, a total of 204, 397 (73%) pupils were vaccinated out of 279,393 pupils with parents’ consent.

As of April 24, 2016 a total of 362 cases of Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) from the three regions where the Dengue School Based Immunization Program were received. The top five common reactions were fever, headache, dizziness, vomiting, and rash. The DOH established a strict monitoring and surveillance system for adverse events and side effects following immunization.

DOH addresses the death of an 11-year-old male. The said patient was vaccinated on March 31, 2016. The patient is claimed to have been diagnosed to have congenital heart disease during his childhood. No maintenance medication was taken since his transfer to his current guardians.  During immunization of dengue vaccine, the patient was screened and assessed by the RHU physician at the school. When asked the guardian (uncle) denied history of fever, illness, and maintenance medication during assessment.

On April 3, 2016 patient developed diarrhea and fever, he was seen and examined the next day at the Bagac Community Medicare Hospital and was diagnosed to have amoebiasis. Patient was sent home with medications. On April 9, the patient was seen and admitted at the Isaac Catalina Medical Center after experiencing difficulty of breathing, fever, and cough. He was initially diagnosed with pneumonia, severe; congenital heart disease in Congestive Heart Failure, and electrolyte imbalance. April 10, the patient was referred and transferred to Bataan General Hospital. April 11, patient had a cardiac arrest and was eventually pronounced dead. The immediate cause of death was pulmonary edema with the following underlying causes: congenital heart disease, Acute Gastroenteritis with moderate dehydration.

The case was presented to the National Adverse Event Following Immunization Committee (NAEFIC) last April 21, 2016 to assess the findings. Their conclusion is consistent with the hospital findings. The dengue vaccination is coincidental. According to NAEFIC, congenital heart disease is not an exclusion criterion for vaccination. 

Dengue is highly endemic in the Philippines. It had the highest incidence and ranks number 1 in the Western Pacific Region from 2013 to 2015. As of April 9, 2016, a total of 33, 658 suspected dengue cases were reported nationwide. Most of the cases were from Region IV-A with 5,546 cases out of 33,658; Region III with 4, 518 cases; Region X with 3, 604 cases and National Capital Region (NCR) with 2,469 cases.

Meanwhile, the health chief reiterated that while the vaccine is proven 90% effective in preventing the incidence of severe dengue, cleanliness is still the most fundamental solution against mosquito-borne diseases like dengue. Especially today that the country is stricken by the El Niño phenomenon, the public is reminded to always cover containers which are being used for storing water so it will not be infested by mosquito larvae. 

“Dengue vaccines are only a step of our battle against dengue. We will continue to fight against mosquito-borne diseases through the ‘4S campaign’. The 4S means Search & destroy mosquito breeding places, use Self-protection measures, Seek early consultation for fever lasting more than 2 days, and Say NO to indiscriminate fogging. Lahat ng ito ay mangyayari kung sisimulan natin sa ating mga bahay. Sama-sama nating gampanan ang ating papel upang makamit ang Kalusugang Pangkalahatan.” Garin concluded. #  Source – www.doh.gov.ph

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