Watsons, the leading health & beauty chain in the Philippines, today announced the availability of dengue vaccination (Dengvaxia) in select Watsons stores nationwide.
Last April 13, 2016 dengue vaccination was first launched in the country by the Department of Health (DOH) together with the Department of Education (DepEd) in select public schools. Last year, it was made available to medical clinics and hospitals. Now, Watsons is the first retailer to offer it in the Philippine market.
Watsons Team Sai Pascual, Aida Lopez, Viki Encarnacio, Danilo Chiong, Belle Pesayco, Krista Tan with Dr. Rontgene Solante
“As part of our commitment to improve the lives and health of Filipinos by making health care more accessible to them, we decided to offer dengue vaccination in our select stores nationwide. Dengue is a recurring epidemic in the country, that’s why we recognize the importance of protecting Filipinos against this deadly disease through the vaccination”, says Watsons Trading Health Director, Mr. Danilo Chiong.
What is Dengue?
Dengue fever is passed on by a mosquito bit, mostly the Aedes aegypti mosquito (or “tiger mosquito”). There are four types of the dengue virus, and the infection causes a wide range of symptoms, including fever, headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, and rash. People infected with dengue often also experience long-term fatigue. (Source: https://www.breakdengue.org/dengue-fever/)
Most dengue patients acquires one of the four types of dengue and yet, each person can potentially acquire all 4 strains. And each time, the symptoms become more severe.
Dengvaxia by Sanofi Pasteur
The first vaccine against dengue, Dengvaxia, was created by leading multinational pharmaceutical company and an expert in the development of vaccinations, Sanofi Pasteur. The vaccine took more than twenty years to develop and has been thoroughly tested, based on World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. Studies of the vaccine included more than 41,000 people and were carried out in 15 countries including the Philippines. The results were fully reviewed by a committee of independent experts and has also been recommended by WHO. (Source: http://www.who.int/denguecontrol/disease/en/)
In the Philippines, the DOH together with DepEd launched the much-awaited administration of the dengue vaccine through school-based immunization approach. This aims to vaccinate about one million Grade 4 pupils aged 9 years old and above enrolled in public schools in several regions of the country. (Source: http://www.doh.gov.ph/node/5716)
As of February 2017, the vaccine has been approved in 14 countries where dengue is endemic including Singapore, Mexico, Brazil and the Philippines.
The dengue vaccine has also gotten the endorsement of the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (PSMID) and Philippine College of Physicians (PCP).
There are more than 200,000 reported dengue cases in the country in 2016 with around 1000 reported cases leading to death. (Source: http://www.doh.gov.ph/statistics)
Besides the health risks, dengue also has an impact on public health costing billions of pesos of tax payers money with treatment costing tens of thousands in pesos per patient.
Scheduled Dengue Vaccinations at Watsons
The dengue vaccination has to be taken in three doses at 0 | 6 | 12 month interval, can protect the individual from all four strains of the dengue virus. This can be administered to people aged 9 to 45 years old.
The dengue vaccination is the latest addition to the vaccines offered by Watsons. It will cost P4000 per dose or P12,000 for all 3 doses, which is a reasonable price given the high incidence of dengue and high cost of treatment in the Philippines. There will be a doctor during vaccination dates to administer the vaccination and screen patients.
The first scheduled dengue vaccination will be on April 30, 2017 (1st dose), October 29, 2017 (2nd dose) and April 29, 2018 (3rd dose); second scheduled dengue vacation will be on May 14, 2017 (1st dose), November 12, 2017 (2nd dose), May 13, 2018 (3rd dose). This will be available in more than 100 stores nationwide.
Watsons allows flexibility for patients who are on the go. Vaccinations can be taken on the nearest Watsons branch where the patient is currently at (e.g. 1st vaccination in Makati, 2nd vaccination in Cebu, 3rd vaccination in Cagayan de Oro).
Dengue vaccination is not recommended for the following individuals:
- Children less than nine (9) years of age and adults above 45 years of age
- Anyone who is allergic or has had an allergic reaction to a prior dose or to any component of the dengue vaccine
- Immunocompromised individuals, due to but not limited to genetic defects, HIV infections, or therapies that affect immune system such as high dose costicosteroids or chemotherapy
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women
Watsons is Asia’s leading health and beauty retailer, currently operating over 4,000 stores and more than 1,000 pharmacies in 12 Asian and European markets, including China (Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau), Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Korea, Indonesia, Turkey and Ukraine.
In 2002, A.S. Watson Group joined hands with SM Prime Holdings Inc., the Philippines’ leading shopping mall developer. Watsons caters to a variety of lifestyles with an unrivalled diversity of products, with a mission to help people around the world to look good, feel great.