Good news: First-ever dengue vaccine now in PH
- PH welcomes first shipment, becomes first country to approve its distribution
- First 300,000 doses to be made available for the private market
- DOH hopes to get funding to make drug available for the general public
Welcomed by physicians and other stakeholders, the first shipment of Dengvaxia arrived on Thursday, February 11, and will be distributed by Zuellig Pharma Corporation.
According to vaccine maker Sanofi Pasteur, the initial 300,000 orders of Dengvaxia will initially be made available to the private market.
“Doctors can actually place their orders so that by Saturday maybe all of us can already go to our doctors to ask and be assessed whether we can be vaccinated any time starting today,” the Sanofi Pasteur Country Manager Ching Santos told Rappler.
For her part, Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines president, Dr. Sally Gatchalian, assured the public that prices will be reasonable.
“We pediatricians and physicians realize the burden of dengue and definitely, the price is going to be very affordable and reasonable. Our aim is to protect our patients. As much as possible we don’t want them to get hospitalized. Preventive care is actually primary in the services we provide our patients,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) said it hopes to get government funding to enable them to reach a wider demographic with the vaccine.
“We need to come out with a good documentation of all events so that we can make an appeal on the next budget hearing, so they can include it and make sure the funds continue to come in,” DOH spokesman Dr. Lyndon Lee-Suy said.
The product of 20 years of development by Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccine protects against all four dengue strains and will be given in three doses with an interval period of six months between each dose.