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DoH to include Japanese Encephalitis vaccine in immunization program

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THE DEPARTMENT of Health (DoH) announced on Tuesday that it will now include vaccines for Japanese Encephalitis (JE) in its immunization program, beginning in regions with the most number of reported cases last year. DoH, in a statement, said the vaccine will be given for free starting this month to children nine months to five years old in Regions 1 (Ilocos), 2 (Cagayan Valley), 3 (Central Luzon), and the Cordillera Administrative Region. JE is a viral disease transmitted from Culex mosquitoes, which thrive in wet and shallow areas. Children are more at risk. In 2018, DoH reported 345 cases of the mosquito-borne disease. “Among the 12 countries with established JE transmission, only two countries have not introduced the vaccine in their immunization program, and one of these is the Philippines. Now, the Japanese Encephalitis vaccine is available in the Philippines,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said. — Gillian M. Cortez





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