DOH CONTINUES TO USE PVC13 CONTRARY TO REPORTS

DOH CONTINUES TO USE PVC13 CONTRARY TO REPORTS

by RPN News
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The Department of Health (DOH) National Immunization Program (NIP) continues to provide pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PVC) , paticularly PVC13, as part of its routine immunization contrary to circulating reports.

Under the DOH – NIP, PVC is given to the public for free. PVC protects children, pregnant women, and the elderly against diseases caused by Sreptococcus pneumoniae such as pneumonia, meningitis, and sepsis.

In 2012, DOH procured PCV10, a decavalent PCV which gives protection against 10 serotypes of S. pneumoniae. However, in 2014, DOH shifted to the tridecavalent PVC13 in the Philippine National Formulary.

Last February 2019, the WHO released a position paper positing that when given to infants and children under 5 years, both PCV10 and PCV13 have substantial impacts against pneumonia, vaccine-type pneumococcal disease, and nasopharyngeal carriage.

Further, based on the WHO position paper, the choice  of product to be used in a country should be beased on various factors such as programmatic characteristics, vaccine supply, vaccine price, the local and regional prevalence of vaccine serotypes and antimicrobial resistance patterns.

“Under the UHC law, there is now a new Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) mandated to review existing health programs and benefits of the DOH and Philhealth in the next two years. The DOH therefore requested the HTAC to review the NIP in particular the Pneumococcal Vaccination Program in light of scientific evidence and the significant budget impact of this particular vaccine to the Department.” Health Secretary Duque said.

DOH is holding off the procurement of any PCV while waiting for HTAC to complete its assessment. At present, DOH continues to use PCV13 as part of the routine immunization and assures the public that stocks of the vaccine are ample.

“While we want our Filipino children to be protected against any pneumococcal disease, we also want to ensure them of the highest quality of our vaccines, ” Health Secretary concluded.

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