Press Release
August 28, 2019


With the Philippines ranking third worldwide with the highest incidence of measles over a 12-month period from January to June this year with 45,847 cases, according to the World Health Organization, Senator Richard J. Gordon yesterday called on the public to bring back their trust in the government's Expanded Program on Immunization.

"People should not forgo immunization because it is a proven tool for controlling and even eradicating infectious diseases. It is a very necessary and effective public health intervention. Let us not allow a drug manufacturer's bid to clear its name and escape civil liability by spurring the debate on the reintroduction of Dengvaxia in our country goad us into placing our children at risk for infectious diseases. We should only be worried about Dengvaxia being reinstituted on a mass scale," he said.

Madagascar was first with more than 150,000 cases and Ukraine, second with more than 84,300 cases.

The DOH said the country's immunization rate dropped to just 40 percent early this year. It attributed the decline to the public's fear of vaccines following the controversy surrounding the use of Dengvaxia, an anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.

Gordon said the EPI seeks to ensure that children, particularly infants, and their mothers have access to vaccines recommended for their age to prevent specific diseases. It covers the following diseases: Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, Poliomyelitis, Measles, Mumps, Rubella or German measles, Hepatitis-B, and H. Influenza type B (HIB).

He added the Philippine Red Cross promptly took action when there was an outbreak of measles earlier this year, which was made worst by the resulting loss of trust in vaccination because of the Dengvaxia scare.

The PRC set up tents in various hospitals that were overflowing with measles patients, such as PGH, Rizal Medical Center, San Lazaro Hospital, and Quirino Memorial Medical Center, among others. It also helped the DOH in vaccinating children, inoculating a total of 16,956 individuals.

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