MANILA – (UPDATE 3:24 PM.) Not just children, but policemen who received the dengue vaccine Dengvaxia are anxious over the effects it may have on their bodies. This, following a warning that the vaccine stops future infections in those previously stricken with it, but poses serious health risks to those who never contracted dengue before they were immunized.
Earlier reports said at least a thousand policemen have thus far been given Dengvaxia shots. On Sunday morning, the police-recipients from the Quezon City force attended a dialogue with Philippine Children Medical Center (PCMC) officials, to thresh out their concerns.
The dialogue was also meant let them know the government’s interventions since vaccine maker Sanofi Pasteur disclosed the risk of “serious disease” for so-called “zero-negative” or people who did not have prior dengue infections before immunization. That warning prompted the Department of Health to suspend the program.
The government is still drawing up a list of who among the vaccine recipients – both among schoolchildren, policemen and other groups – were zero-negative when they were given Dengvaxia shots.
The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Health Service under PCI Josephine L Nandu, in coordination with Philippine Children Medical Center (PCMC), held the dialogue at Camp Karingal with QCPD personnel and dependents who received the vaccine last September.
Records show that 839 QCPD personnel together with 498 dependents and other civilians were injected with the vaccine on a voluntary basis last September. The QCPD has a complement of 4,742 uniformed personnel and 292 civilians.
The dialogue, focused on monitoring and surveillance of the vaccine recipients for immediate medical intervention upon onset of the disease in those at risk, was held at the QCPD covered court where the inoculations took place sometime in September 2017.
The event was presided over by Dr. Julius A Lecciones, Executive Director of the PCMC, which provided vaccines for free. This was injected in recipients by PCMC medical personnel, in coordination with the QCPD Health Service.
Dr. Lecciones allayed the fears of the recipients and committed the PCMC’s expertise and facilities for free to anyone of the recipients at risk upon manifestation of dengue symptoms.
Recipients at risk will be monitored for the next five years after profiling all those vaccinated and recording their past immunizations. Immediate medical intervention upon onset of symptoms will be undertaken at the PCMC.
The QCPD chief, PCSupt Guillermo Eleazar said the health and welfare of personnel, and also their dependents’, is of prime importance and concern to the command group because it impinges on overall police performance; hence, the immediate response to the situation which may cause much worry, if not panic. Mainam ding maaga nating maprevent ang mga ano mang sakit, kaya, pangalagaan natin ang kalinisan, hindi lamang sa katawan kundi sa ating kapaligiran, mapa sa ating tahanan man o sa ating mga opisina at istasyon”, he added.