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Measles breaks out across the Philippines after Dengvaxia vaccine scare
09 February 2019, 08:13 | Silvia Roy
Philippines hit by deadly measles outbreak
For the whole year of 2018, NCR registered 3, 646 measles cases as to against 351 cases in 2017.
In a news conference, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles on Friday said the government might face legal issues in court if it implemented mandatory immunization for children.
"We are expanding the outbreak from Metro Manila to other regions as other cases have increased in the past week", said Health Secretary Francisco Duque in ordering the massive house-to-house campaign whose target for the mass vaccination were not only children but also adults.
Four hundred forty one cases were reported in metropolitan Manila, which spans 16 cities and one town, a 1,125 per cent increase from a year ago.
For the DOH, the regions need to scale up their response against measles and have all children vaccinated.
On Thursday, Dr Duque declared that there was also an outbreak in central and southern Luzon and in central and western Visayas.
Last year, vaccination coverage was reported to be at around 40 percent.
Based on data presented by the DOH Epidemiology Bureau, the number of measles cases at the National Capital Region from 1 to 19 January 2019 has reached 196 cases as compared to 20 cases reported in the said region at the same time period in 2018.
The outbreaks have prompted concern over the 2.4 million unvaccinated children in the country.
The DOH Epidemiology Bureau (DOH EB) has reported almost 200 confirmed cases through January 19 in the region.
Hontiveros claimed that Acosta politicized the Dengvaxia vaccine controversy, which forced parents not to have their children innoculated.
The Bicol regional office on Friday said Masbate and Sorsogon provinces each recorded one death due to measles out of 55 cases so far this year.
Measles can be very unsafe for small children and babies. "I urge parents and communities to take their children to the health center to be immunized". "Let's have them inoculated before the outbreak of measles worsens", Sen.
In late 2017, French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi, which licensed Dengvaxia, disclosed that the vaccine, in rare cases, could indeed backfire: If children who never had dengue are vaccinated and later become infected, the vaccine may provoke a much more severe form of the illness.
Without referring to Acosta by name, Duque said the "drama that they were doing ... really caused a damage to the integrity and effectiveness of the DOH to conduct and ensure that there will be adequate immunization coverage so that [the public] will be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases".
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