Get Vaccinated Against Dengue Fever at Watsons!

By Mommy Donna and Kib - April 17, 2017

Health is wealth, period.

I already have mentioned in my blog for several times how important it is to take care of one's health.  I am an advocate of healthy living that is why I have been educating people through my blog why we should take care of our health.

Whenever I am invited to attend an event with relation to health, I can't say no because I also wanted to learn something new about health issues and concerns and I also wanted to be one of the first to spread the news about through my blog.  

Last March 31st, 2017, I was invited by Watsons to attend to the launch of the newest vaccine available in the market.  It is called Dengvaxia, a vaccine against dengue fever.  When I learned about this, I got excited because I had dengue fever in the past.  The disease was really weakening, I was like a limp vegetable lying on the bed all day long.  Well, I still thank God that it was me who had the disease and not Kib, because if it was him, I could've died of stress and worry.

What is dengue fever?

Dengue fever is a painful, debilitating mosquito-borne disease caused by any one of four closely-related dengue viruses.  It is often transmitted by a bite of an Aedes mosquito carrying dengue virus.  Dengue virus can be spread when a mosquito bites a person carrying dengue virus.  Dengue virus cannot be transmitted from one to person to another.

Common symptoms of dengue are:  sudden, high fever; severe headaches; pain behind the eyes; severe joint and muscle pain; fatigue; nausea; vomiting; skin rash (which appears two to five days after the onset of fever); and mild bleeding (such as nose bleed, bleeding gums, or easy brusing).  These symptoms usually begin four to six days after infection and can last up to 10 days.

Dengue cases can range from mild to severe.  Younger children and people who have never had the infection before tend to have mild cases than older children and adults.  However, serious problems can develop during illness.  One of the this is dengue hemorrhagic fever, a rare complication characterized by high fever, damage to lymph nodes and blood vessels, bleeding from the nose and gums, enlargement of the liver, and failure of the circulatory system.  The symptoms may progress to massive bleeding, shock, and death.  This is called dengue shock syndrome (DSS).

At present, there is no specific medicine to treat dengue infection.  The only way to treat dengue fever is to take paracetamol to lower the fever and to take pain relievers with acetaminophen to relieve patient from muscle pain.  The patient should also take plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.  When symptoms get worse in 24 hours after the fever goes down, patient should be rushed to the hospital immediately to be checked for complications.

Dengue vaccine

The dengue vaccination was launched in the Philippines by the Department of Health (DOH) together with the Department of Education (DepEd), and later on was made available in medical clinics in 2016.  Presently, Watsons is the first retailer of dengue fever vaccine in the Philippine market.

Mr. Danilo Chiong, Watsons Trading Health Director said that it is part of Watsons' commitment to improve the lives and health of Filipinos by making health care more accessible to everyone.  "Dengue is a recurring epidemic in the country, that's why we recognize the importance of protecting Filipinos against this deadly disease through vaccination," says Chiong.

Sanofi Pasteur, the leading multinational pharmaceutical company in the world and an expert in the development of vaccinations, developed the first dengue vaccine (Dengvaxia).  It took the company more than 20 years to develop the said vaccine.  Before it was launched to the public, the vaccine has undergone thorough tests based on the guidelines set by the World Health Organization (WHO).  To be able to create this vaccine, 41,000 people from 15 countries including the Philippines were used as subjects and the results were fully reviewed by a committee of independent experts and has also been recommended by WHO.

The dengue vaccine should be taken in 3 doses at 6 months apart for each dose (0-6-12).  The dengue vaccine will protect the individual from all four strains of dengue virus.  It can be administered to people ages 9 to 45 years old and it can also be given to those people who had dengue fever in the past.

As of February 2017, the vaccine has already been approved by 14 countries all over the world where dengue is endemic, including Singapore, Mexico, Brazil, and the Philippines.

Philippines is one of the countries that has a high number of dengue cases 

In the Philippines, the DOH together with DepEd has launched the dengue vaccine administration through school-based immunization in April 2016.  This project 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.  Said project was initially launched in Regions III, IV-A, and NCR because these regions have the highest number of dengue fever cases all over the country.

In addition, the dengue vaccine has also secured the recommendation of the Philippine Society of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (PSMID) and Philippine College of Physicians (PCP).

It is expected that with this vaccine, it'll help reduce the dengue fever cases in the country by about 24 percent in the next five years, based on the study made by the University of the Philippines National Institute of Health (UP-NIH).

Watsons' campaign for healthier Filipinos

The dengue fever vaccination is the latest addition to the vaccine being offered by Watsons.  It'll cost Php4000 per dose or Php12000 for all 3 doses, which is a reasonable price given the high incidence of dengue and high cost of treatment in the country.

Most people would think that the vaccine is expensive; don't fret because Watsons is offering a 0% interest for 3 months if you pay via credit card (BDO or BPI).  

Watsons will be offering dengue vaccinations in more than 100 stores nationwide.  The first scheduled vaccination will be on April 30, 2017 (1st dose), October 29, 2017 (2nd dose), and April 29, 2018 (3rd dose).  Another schedule for dengue vaccination will be on May 13, 2017 (1st dose), November 12, 2017 (2nd dose), and May 13, 2018 (3rd dose).  Experts reminded that people should have all the three doses so that the person will be fully protected from the harmful dengue virus.

Protect yourself from the harmful effects of dengue fever!  Get vaccinated now!  Visit any Watsons branch near you to find out which branches offer dengue fever vaccine.

The Watsons team who launched the dengue vaccine to the press

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