News about the risks of the Dengvaxia vaccine has recently made the rounds in local news and social media. Here's what you need to know.
The controversial dengvaxia vaccine was initially hailed as a lifesaving vaccine aimed to protect hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren from the deadly dengue virus.
However, recent reports have discovered that the dengvaxia vaccine can only be used on people who have been infected by the virus before and that it’s riskier for people who haven’t had the virus prior to being vaccinated.
What’s the problem with the dengvaxia vaccine?
Initially, the dengvaxia vaccine was touted as a vaccine that would be able to save the lives of Filipinos, particularly those of schoolchildren who are most vulnerable to the effects of dengue.
However, the problem was that the vaccine was given at a time wherein research regarding the vaccine’s effects were still in the initial stages. This meant that any risks accompanying the vaccine still weren’t thoroughly investigated. However, the DOH still pushed through with their project to vaccinate schoolchildren with dengvaxia.
As a result, 733,713 children from Central Luzon, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, and Metro Manila were given the vaccine through a project of the DOH.
10% of those children haven’t been infected with dengue, and recent findings have discovered that the vaccine can actually make dengue worse for vaccinated children who haven’t been infected with the virus previously.
Do all vaccines have risks?
The scandal surrounding the dengvaxia vaccine has caused a lot of parents to distrust the DOH’s programs, worrying that their children could be placed under even more harm rather than be kept safe and healthy.
And undoubtedly, their fears are understandable, since the dengvaxia vaccine was widely promoted as the vaccine that would prevent more kids from dying of dengue.
However, it’s important for moms and dads to know that not all vaccines have such grave risks. These days, especially when it comes to vaccines that have been researched for decades and are being constantly improved, being vaccinated is relatively safe.
The best thing for moms and dads to do would be to ask their child’s doctor about the different vaccines and to work with their pediatrician into making sure that their little one can be protected.
Most vaccines that doctors recommend have undergone thorough research and there’s no need for parents to be worried about. It’s also important to communicate your fears and hesitation regarding vaccines with your doctor, and they surely will be able to give you more information to ease your mind.