Breaking Grounds with Dengue Vaccine
Dengue is a serious health concern in the Philippines and other parts of the world. According to the World Health Organization, over 3.2 million cases were reported in 2015 across the Americas, Southeast Asia and Western Pacific. In 2015, the Philippines reported over 169,000. This represented a 59.5 percent increase from the previous year.
Last year, over 200,000 cases were reported in the country. The Philippines was 7th in the world and 4th overall in Asia Pacific for incidence of dengue from 2004-2010.
Watsons is the first retailer to offer vaccination for dengue in the country.
Sanofi Pasteur, a leading multinational pharmaceutical company and an expert in the development of vaccines, created Dengvaxia. It took them over 20 years to develop the vaccine, which was thoroughly tested based on World Health Organization guidelines. Studies of the vaccine included more than 41,000 people and were carried out in 15 countries including the Philippines.
The dengue vaccine was launched in the country by the Department of Health together with the Department of Education and was made available in medical clinics last year. Now, Watsons is the first retailer to offer it in the Philippine market.
“As part of our commitment to improve the lives and health of Filipinos by making health care more accessible to them, we decided to offer dengue vaccination in our select stores nationwide. Dengue is a recurring epidemic in the country, that’s why we recognize the importance of protecting Filipinos against this deadly disease through the vaccination,” said Danilo Chong, Watsons Trading Health Director.
The dengue vaccine has also gotten the endorsement of the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases and Philippine College of Physicians. According to a study by the University of the Philippines National Institute of Health, the vaccine is expected to reduce dengue cases in the country by over 24 percent in a span of five years.
The vaccine, which is for those 9-45 years old, is to be taken in three doses at 0 - 6 - 12 months interval. It can protect the individual from all four strains of the dengue virus.
The dengue vaccination is the latest addition to the vaccines offered by Watsons. It will cost P4000 per dose or P12, 000 for all three doses, which is a reasonable price given the high incidence of dengue and high cost of treatment in the Philippines.
The first scheduled dengue vaccination will be on April 30, 2017 (1st dose), October 29, 2017 (2nd dose) and April 29, 2018 (3rd dose); second scheduled dengue vacation will be on May 14, 2017 (1st dose), November 12, 2017 (2nd dose), May 13, 2018 (3rd dose). This will be available in more than 100 Watsons stores nationwide.