Philippines begins dengue vaccinations for 1 million schoolchildren

CCTV News

Philippines begins dengue vaccinations for 1 million schoolchildren

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne virus that threatens about half the world’s population – primarily third-world countries.

In anticipation of the rainy season, the Philippine government has decided to begin vaccinating 1 million school age children.

CCTV’s Barnaby Lo reports.

Philippines begins dengue vaccinations for 1 million schoolchildren

Philippines begins dengue vaccinations for 1 million schoolchildren

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne virus that threatens about half the world’s population - primarily third-world countries. In anticipation of the rainy season, the Philippine government has decided to begin vaccinating 1 million school age children. CCTV's Barnaby Lo reports.

In December, the Philippines approved sale of the the world’s first dengue vaccine Dengvaxia. While the World Health Organization (WHO) has yet to form its own study of the vaccine, the Philippines has decided it cannot wait to begin its program.

“It’s not the mandate of the WHO to approve or disapprove the use of any medicinal product in a country,” Dr. Gundo Aurel Weiler, a WHO representative in the Philippines said. “This is the prerogative of the country, especially those countries that have got well-established national regulatory authorities such as the case here in the Philippines.”

So far, 17,000 schoolchildren have benefited from the government’s immunization program. The country’s health officials are hopeful the program could reduce dengue cases by 25% in five years.