MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) expects that anti-dengue vaccines will be available in the country by 2016.
In a press briefing, DOH spokesperson Dr. Lyndon Lee-Suy said that the dengue vaccines would probably be piloted by early next year (2016) since the pharmaceutical company, which will release the vaccine, was still registering the vaccine before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“The vaccine right now is in the process of registration… There is a need to understand that process for this one is quite tedious… because it is not comparable to a car that once you purchase in a day or two, it will be readily available,” said Dr. Lee-Suy.
Lee-Suy also said that since the vaccine would be out for the first time, lots of considerations should closely be looked at first such as credible assurance that all the requirements were appropriately met.
He also assured that the manufacturer of the said vaccine had passed the stage or process of conducting clinical studies on the safety and efficacy of administering the vaccine, assessment of the presence of side effects, contra-indications and how to address them to ensure that it would be a potentially promising weapon against dengue.
He also said that there were also existing primary discussions and preparations in terms of piloting as to who would be the target recipients of the vaccines and the cost of providing them as well.
“Some questions like how much they (the manufacturer of the vaccine) is going to offer to us (DOH), will it be cost effective, the process, and others because we are talking of lives here.. and of course, there will also be negotiations in terms of procurement as to who will be the initial targets… because you cannot right away make the said vaccine available to all,” the DOH spokesperson added.
Dengue is a disease common in tropical and sub-tropical countries in the world, is transmitted through the bite of an ‘Aedes mosquito’, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
A giant French firm, Sanofi Pasteur, known to be one of the leading distributors of vaccine-preventable diseases is behind the manufacture and study of the said anti-dengue vaccines.
The health department expects that once the said vaccine is out, the incidence of hospitalization due to dengue infection, that sometimes results in endangering lives of people especially children, would be minimized and countered.
Based on latest cumulative data of DOH on dengue cases, from Jan. 1 to Aug. 8, 2015, the number of dengue cases in the country increased by 9.15 percent compared to the same period last year.
A total of 55,079 suspected dengue cases were collected from all the regions in the country for the first 8 months (Jan 1 to August) of this year.
The figure was higher compared to just 50,462 reported cases during the same period of 2014.