At least 23 percent of the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia in Cebu have been pulled out by the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7).
Bernadine Hayag, health education and information officer of DOH-7, said that as of Wednesday, they have secured the dengue vaccines from 12 of the 53 local government units (LGUs) in Cebu.
“These were supposed to be used for the recipients’ second dose,” she said in Cebuano.
DOH-7 Director Jaime Bernadas said they received an order from Health Secretary Francisco Duque to suspend and recall the controversial dengue vaccines as soon as possible.
“We want to put the vaccines on hold. For now, we will store the vaccines,” he said.
Bernadas said all dengue vaccines will subsequently be transported to DOH central office in Manila.
At least 159,766 children received the first dose of Dengvaxia in Cebu.
Ten-year-old Jujen Ababon, one of those who received a free shot of the anti-dengue vaccine in Cebu but was diagnosed with dengue last Dec. 5, has been discharged from the hospital.
“He has gone home already,” Bernadas said.
He called on the people to be on guard against symptoms of dengue that include skin rashes, fever and headache.
While the dengue vaccines were recalled, Bernadas said the anti-dengue programs of the DOH continues.
“Vaccines are not the solution to dengue,” Bernadas said.
He urged the public to clean their surroundings to eliminate the breeding grounds for the dengue-carrying mosquitoes.
“The solution to dengue is cleanliness and (the) cooperation (of the public),” he said.