World Health Organization (WHO) supported the dengue vaccination program of the Department of Health (DOH) to one million students in public schools where there is highest incidence of the disease.
In a press briefing, WHO representative Dr. Gundo Weiler confirmed that it supports the country’s medical initiative in fighting dengue. Weiler also clarified the issue of the lack of WHO recommendation of the vaccine ahead the vaccination program.
“It is the prerogative of a country to license the product, determine its use based on the internal scientific appraisal of the clinical research that is underpinning the product,” he said, according to Inquirer.
The issue stemmed from the doubts pertaining to the safety and efficacy of Dengvaxia developed and manufactured by French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi. Some doctors opposed the implementation of the program without a recommendation from WHO.
WHO explained that it is not its role to approve drugs and it is also not involved in decision making how it will be used in a country.
“It is not the WHO’s mandate to license a medical product, to determine whether or not a product should be used in a country. This is the prerogative of the national regulatory authority in the country,” he said.
In a report from Manila Bulletin last December 2015, dengue cases rose nearly to 150,000. DOH also named five regions with most number of dengue cases, which are: Central Luzon with 25,049 cases from 9,741 in 2014; CALABARZON with 24,661 cases from 10,910; National Capital Region with 17,925 cases from 5,854; Ilocos region with 11,396 cases from 5,476; and Cagayan Valley with 8,131 from 2,889.