DOH Calabarzon schedules check-ups for Dengvaxia patients

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) Calabarzon office has scheduled physical examination for persons who were administered what turned out to be the risky Dengvaxia dengue vaccine, to better monitor their condition.

The health profiles of these patients will include personal health history, medical conditions, medications, and emergency contact information. 

Regional Director Eduardo Janairo said that, without proper action to monitor those who received the vaccine, "the Dengvaxia confusion in the country will continue to bring scare and panic not only to affected individuals and their families but also to the rest of the country."

"Not only that it will cause lower vaccination coverage and distrust, but will also affect the psychological behavior of the children who were vaccinated," he said in a statement on Wednesday, August 1. 

What it's for: The regional office wants to create a database to monitor the health status of individuals who got the dengue vaccine. 

It will also be used to establish a post-vaccination baseline, which will help evaluate the patients and determine, based on evidence, what intervention they need.

Background: DOH Calabarzon’s Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit recorded 16,694 “adverse event following Dengvaxia immunization” from December 1, 2017, to July 27, 2018.

According to the World Health Organization, adverse events following immunization are “any untoward medical occurrences” which follows immunization but is not necessarily caused by the vaccine itself.

Profiling of individuals administered Dengvaxia in the region started Tuesday, July 31, and is expected to be completed before the end of 2018.

Other monitoring efforts: Last December, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said the department gave out ballers and health monitoring cards to the more than 830,000 Filipino children who got the dengue vaccine.

He said the DOH would conduct a 5-year “heightened surveillance” of all the children who were vaccinated.

Parents of students given the Dengvaxia shot can also get information via mobile applications (app) Abizo Dengue Vaccine Monitoring System application or the  Register, Serve, Validate, and Plan (RSVP) Kaizala application. The apps were developed by the DOH and the Department of Education. – Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs, the overseas Filipino workers, and elections. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.

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