COTABATO City — Health officials in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm) dismissed fears that children in the region could have been given vaccine, commercially known as Dengvaxia, to fight dengue.
Dr. Kadil Sinolinding Jr, regional secretary for the Department of Health (DOH-Armm), said Armm was not a recipient of the controversial Dengvaxia vaccines.
“We are not part of the regions in the country that were supplied with the vaccines during the previous administration, so we have nothing to worry,” Dr. Sinolinding told reporters.
Sinolinding recalled that when DOH-Armm requested for such supplies of vaccines, priority were given to provinces and regions with high dengue cases.
Armm has one of the lowest number of dengue cases in previous years, averaging only of less than a hundred regionwide. The region comprises the cities of Marawi and Lamitan; and the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.
Sinolinding attributed the low dengue cases the past five years in Armm to massive information drive and conduct of community initiated clean up drive as one of the preventive measures.
At least 730,000 children across the country were reportedly vaccinated with Dengvaxia in 2015 and 2016, and an investigation is being conducted after its manufacturer, French drug company Sanofi, recommended the suspension of vaccination because it could worsen the disease in some cases.
The World Health Organization recommended it be used only in people who had a prior infection with dengue, a mosquito-borne tropical disease.
Sinolinding assured Armm constituents that DOH-Armm is not letting its guard down to ensure safety and good health of its people. (pna)