Dengvaxia hysteria takes its toll on vaccination program

AN official of the Regional Medical Center in Dagupan warned that increased incidence of measles and other infectious diseases are expected in Pangasinan if parents continue to refuse to submit their children for vaccination against other infectious diseases.

Dr. Jocelyn Angeles, head of R1MC’s epidemiology center, noted reports that the number of children being vaccinated against measles, small pox, diphtheria, polio and other diseases, have began to decrease as a result of the stigma created by the Dengvaxia fiasco.

Angeles told the KBP Forum that since the Dengvaxia controversy surfaced, many parents are now reluctant to bring their children to health centers for vaccination even if it is free.

She said because of this, the Department of Health (DOH) is now doing a massive information dissemination drive to encourage parents to submit their children for vaccination and to restore their trust and confidence in the government’s vaccination programs.

An outbreak of infectious diseases, especially measles is a big possibility if parents continue to deny their children the vaccination that they badly needed for them to stay healthy as they are growing.

Angeles believes that only clarification and a credible explanation will make parents eventually drop their resistance to the vaccination.

She noted that when Rural Health Unit (RHU) personnel visit the barangays, parents and their children refuse to come out of their houses and even hide from them.

At the same time, Angeles revealed that a child from Tarlac administered with Dengvaxia was confined at R1MC not for dengue but for systemic viral infection.

The child, who was already discharged from R1MC, was verified to have been given the Dengvaxia vaccine while in school in Tarlac but got sick when he and parents were visiting Pangasinan.

His specimens were taken and subjected to laboratory examination and nothing irregular was found.

As a matter of procedure, R1MC coordinated and referred the patient to the Municipal Health Office near his place for regular monitoring of his health. (Leonardo Micua)

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