Sunday, April 02, 2017

Dengue Vaccination Now Available in Select Watsons Stores Nationwide

There are more than 200,000 reported dengue cases in the Philippines in 2016 with around 1000 cases leading to death. Apart from the health risks, dengue also has an impact on public health costing billions of pesos of tax payers money with treatment costing tens of thousands in pesos per patient.

Did you know? Dengue cases in the Philippines number to thousands every year!
Recently, leading health and beauty chain Watson Philippines announced the availability of dengue vaccination in select stores nationwide. According to Danilo Chiong, Watsons Trading Health Director, this is part of their commitment to improve the lives and health of Filipinos by making health care more accessible. "Dengue is a recurring epidemic in the country, that's why we recognize the importance of protecting Filipinos against this deadly disease through the vaccination," he says.

The dengue vaccination was launched in the country by the Department of Health (DOH) together with the Department of Education (DepEd) early last year through school-based immunization approach. The program aims to vaccinate about one million Grade 4 pupils aged nine years old and above enrolled in public schools in several regions of the country. Later on, it was made available in medical clinics and now, Watsons is the first retailer to offer it in the Philippine market.

trivia: the first dengue vaccine was created by Sanofi Pasteur
Dengvaxia, the first vaccine against dengue, was created by leading multinational pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur, an expert in the development of vaccinations. The vaccine took more than 20 years to develop and has been thoroughly tested, based on World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. Studies of the vaccine included more than 41,000 people and were carried out in 15 countries including the Philippines. The results were fully reviewed by a committee of independent experts and has also been recommended by WHO.

As of February 2017, Dengvaxia has been approved in 14 countries where dengue is endemic including Singapore, Mexico, Brazil, and the Philippines. It has also gotten the endorsement of the Philippine Society of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (PSMID) and the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP).

FYI, it only takes 3 shots to get protected against the 4 dengue strains
According to a study by the University of the Philippines National Institute of Health, the vaccine is expected to reduce dengue cases in the country by over 24 percent in a span of five years. To be taken in three doses at 0 - 6 - 12 months interval, the dengue vaccination can protect the individual from all four strains of the dengue virus. This can be administered to people aged 9 to 45 years old.

The latest addition to the vaccines offered by Watsons, Dengvaxia will cost P4,000 per dose or P12,000 for all three doses. This is a reasonable price given the high incidence of dengue and high cost of treatment in the Philippines.

get your family vaccinated against dengue to avoid costly medical bills in the future
Schedules of the dengue vaccination are as follows and will be available in more than 100 Watsons stores nationwide:

• First schedule: April 30, 2017 (1st dose), October 29, 2017 (2nd dose), and April 29, 2018 (3rd dose) 
• Second schedule: May 14, 2017 (1st dose), November 12, 2017 (2nd dose), and May 13, 2018 (3rd dose)

Watsons Team Sai Pascual, Aida Lopez, Viki Encarnacio
Danilo Chiong, Belle Pesayco, and Krista Tan with Dr. Rontgene Solante
during the Watsons dengue vaccine launch
Chiong adds, "Watsons also offer Cervical Cancer, Flu, and Pneumonia vaccination at scheduled intervals throughout the year. We will have a doctor in the store during vaccination dates to administer the shots." 

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