A total of 3,281 people had been hospitalized after they were inoculated with the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia between March 2016 and March 2018, according to the Dengue Adverse Events Surveillance of the Department of Health (DoH).
In a news briefing on Friday, Health Undersecretary Rolando Domingo said out of the 3,281 cases, 1,967 were found to be dengue.
“Of the more than 3,200 patients who reported showing serious adverse events following immunization, 1,967 were found to have contracted dengue as confirmed through clinical and serological tests,” Domingo added.
The other 1,314 cases were found to be not related to dengue, including viral infections with 203 cases; acute respiratory infection/influenza-like illness with 189; pneumonia with 96; acute gastroenteritis with 92; and other diseases with 563 cases.
Domingo, however, said 98 percent or 3,216 of the patients had been sent home.
The remaining two percent or 65 cases, he added, were the documented deaths among those who had been inoculated with Dengvaxia.
Out of the 65 deaths, only 13 cases were found to be caused by dengue.
The other 52 cases were traced to heart disease, central nervous system infection, pneumonia, leukemia and asthma.
Domingo cited the importance of early consultation in order to prevent further complications.
“The DoH reiterates the importance of seeking early consultation as soon as signs and symptoms are noted in order to prevent more severe and even fatal complications,” the Health official said.
The DoH has allotted an initial P22 million to four regions where the dengue immunization program was mainly implemented, namely, Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) and Central Visayas.
It gave Calabarzon P10 million; Central Luzon, P5.2 million; Metro Manila, P2.4 million; and Central Visayas, P481,452.68
San Lazaro Hospital, a government hospital in Manila’s Santa Cruz district, was given P4 million.
The DoH is awaiting approval by the House of Representatives and the Senate to use the P1.16-billion refunded by French giant Sanofi Pasteur for unused Dengvaxia vaccine.
The government suspended its dengue immunization program after Sanofi Pasteur, the maker of Dengvaxia, warned in November last year that the vaccine may cause severe dengue to those who have never been exposed to the dengue virus.
The dengue immunization program was initiated in 2016 as a school-based program under then-Health Secretary Janette Garin.
At least 830,000 people were said to have been inoculated with the Dengvaxia vaccine.