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Philippines Anticipates New Dengue Vaccine Approval Amid Rising Cases

New Dengue Vaccine

The Department of Health (DOH) in the Philippines is optimistic about the approval of a new dengue vaccine, expected to be licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) within this year. Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa announced this development amidst heightened efforts to curb Dengue outbreaks, which have seen a 15% increase in cases in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year.

Here are some details according to the report of The Philippine Star.

QDENGA Vaccine by Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Herbosa revealed that Takeda Pharmaceuticals, based in Japan, has applied for a certificate of product registration for its QDENGA vaccine. The FDA is currently reviewing this application, and approval could come at any time this year.

The anticipation of QDENGA’s approval follows the tumultuous history of Dengvaxia, the world’s first licensed anti-dengue vaccine, introduced in the Philippines in 2015. Sanofi, the manufacturer, raised concerns in 2017 about severe dengue risks among those without prior exposure to the virus, leading to a suspension of Dengvaxia’s use and a subsequent ban on its sale by the FDA.

The aftermath saw a decline in public trust in vaccines, exacerbated by misinformation and political controversies. This setback contributed to a resurgence of preventable diseases like measles and polio, highlighting the urgent need to rebuild confidence in vaccination efforts.

Preventive Strategies and Vaccination Campaigns

In response to the recent Dengue surge, DOH has emphasized preventive measures such as the “search and destroy” strategy to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds. Efforts are also underway to address the country’s low vaccination coverage, partly attributed to lingering fears from the Dengvaxia controversy.

As the Philippines prepares for potential FDA approval of the QDENGA vaccine, health authorities remain vigilant in navigating public health challenges while aiming to restore confidence in vaccination programs. The upcoming decision on QDENGA could mark a significant milestone in combating Dengue and safeguarding public health in the Philippines.

Read Also: Pertussis Cases Surge Across the Philippines as Iloilo City Declares State of Calamity

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