DOH advices public to go straight to state hospitals for anti-rabies vaccine

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 06 2019 04:45 PM

MANILA - Health Undersecretary Rolando Domingo has advised the public to go straight to government hospitals for anti-rabies vaccination if a family member gets bitten or scratched by an animal.

This as many private hospitals do not have anti-rabies vaccine in stock. 

Domingo gave the advice as the world faced a shortage in anti-rabies vaccine due to the closure of a company supplying the drug.

To date, the country still manages with its limited supply of the vaccine, he said.

“Napagkakasya naman kasi binago natin ang protocols. For example, 'yung rabies vaccine talagang binibigay natin dun sa high risk. 'Yung low-risk, imbes na tatlong dose, isang dose lang binibigay natin. So napapagkasya naman natin,” Domingo said.

(The supply is enough because we changed the protocol. For example, we give rabies vaccine to those who are at higher risk of infection. For those who are low-risk, we give them one dose instead of three doses so the supply will be enough.)

Domingo also reiterated the government’s continuing effort to encourage the public to have children vaccinated. 

In 2018, the country registered a 40-percent immunization rate, a drop from an average 70 percent in recent years. 

The weak turnout, he said, is due to the scare created by the controversy over anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia, which its drug maker said may cause severe dengue symptoms on patients yet to be afflicted with the mosquito-borne disease. 

"'Pag kailangang pagtiyagaang i-house-to-house ng health workers natin, gagawin natin," Domingo said.

(If we have to, health workers will go house-to-house [to promote vaccination].)