MANILA -- A group of Filipino doctors on Thursday called on the Department of Health (DOH) to lift the ban on dengue vaccine Dengvaxia amid the rising number of cases of the mosquito-borne disease.
"As dengue cases continue to surge, the group is once again appealing to the DOH to be open to the return of the vaccine into the market," said the Doctors for Truth and Public Welfare (DTPW) in a statement.
The Food and Drug Administration permanently revoked the certificate of product registration of Dengvaxia in February, about a year after its manufacturer Sanofi Pastuer Inc. admitted that the vaccine may cause more severe symptoms among those who have not had dengue.
The group added that the DOH's recent declaration of a national dengue alert showed that the Philippines falls under the "high-risk populations" that the World Health Organization recommends the anti-dengue vaccine to.
The DTPW, led by former Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral, is composed of physicians, scientists, past DOH officials, and heads of various professional medical associations and non-governmental organizations.
Nearly 116,000 dengue cases had been reported in the country from Jan. 1 to July 6, about an 85-percent increase from the 57,564 cases reported during the same period last year, according to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
Sanofi is also appealing the revocation of Dengvaxia's registration, Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo said Thursday.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said Wednesday that the government is open to the idea of making Dengvaxia available again to the market.