DOH working to obtain smallpox vaccines in fight vs. monkeypox


Posted at Jul 25 2022 11:29 AM

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MANILA – The Department of Health is working with the World Health Organization and other development partners to obtain smallpox vaccines should the Philippines need it in the fight against monkeypox. 

The WHO on Saturday declared monekypox to be a a global health emergency -- the highest alarm it can sound.

On TeleRadyo, DOH Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire explained that the smallpox vaccine has been authorized by the United States Food and Drug Administration to be used against monkeypox.

“Ang ating issue ngayon or challenge, kakaunti po, limitado ang supplies ng monkeypox vaccine na ito kaya po tayo’y nakikipag-usap ngayon sa mga development partners natin tulad ng WHO at iba pa para kung saka-sakaling matutulungan nila tayo to access o kaya madonate-an tayo,” she said.

(Our issue or challenge right now is that there is a limited supply of the vaccine against monkeypox. That’s why we’re speaking with our development partners like the WHO to access these, or maybe they can donate to us.)

But if the Philippines cannot get the vaccines on time, the public will just have to protect themselves against the diseases by following the same safety measures they have been using against COVID-19.

“What we are doing now for COVID-19 preventive measures also applies to monkeypox kasi yung pagsusuot ng mask, yung palagiang paghuhugas ng kamay, yung lagi tayong vigilant tsaka aware, yan po ay makakatulong satin ano para maprevent natin ang sakit na ito.”

Monkeypox has affected over 15,800 people in 72 countries, according to a tally by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published on July 20.

The DOH on Sunday assured the public that health authorities are ready to respond to the ongoing monkeypox outbreak while noting that the Philippines has no history of monkeypox in humans.

--TeleRadyo, 25 July 2022