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Free dengue vaccine program approved and funded!

Administration of the free dengue vaccine will begin in March

Thanks to sin tax collections, more than one million public school students will be receiving the dengue vaccine for free starting this March.

Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Janette Garin proudly announced that President Aquino already approved the administration of the vaccine to grade 4 and 5 students in high incidence regions.

The 9 to 10-year old students were chosen to be the initial recipients because they are the usual victims of dengue.

NCR, Region III and Region IV-A will be prioritized

Almost 50% of all dengue cases in the country in 2015 were reported in the National Capital Region (NCR), Central Luzon (Region III) and Calabarzon (Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon) (Region IV-A). A state of calamity was even declared in Cavite and Bulacan last year because of the rising number of incidents in those areas.

The government has allocated P3 billion in the 2016 budget for the dengue vaccine. Garin noted the high cost is because it is being offered by only one company, Sanofi-Aventis. For the rest of the population, the vaccine is scheduled to be available next week.

READ: Philippines becomes first Asian country to approve dengue vaccine

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