COVID-19 and Dengvaxia vaccinations compared | Inquirer Opinion

COVID-19 and Dengvaxia vaccinations compared

04:05 AM March 09, 2021

The rigid methodology in recent COVID-19 vaccinations is truly praiseworthy. We see  whole of system, whole of government and whole of society approaches covering every aspect from arrival of vaccines to deployment to LGUs nationwide. This includes master profiling of each eligible candidate for vaccination, careful selection of vaccinators, strict injection protocols, and adverse reactions monitoring and evaluation.

As of Monday, government says 29,266 of the total 2 million medical front liners have been vaccinated nationwide. So far, we received a donation of 600,000 doses from China’s Sinovac, while 525,000 doses of AstraZeneca had been delivered through the COVAX facility of the World Health Organization. Another 1.4 million doses of Sinovac will arrive on March 21 under a government supply agreement.


Actually, the sight of “efficient” and fully networked “mass vaccinations today of Sinovac and AstraZeneca brings back our nation’s horrible experience with the 2016 school-based mass vaccination by then DOH-DEPED of a similar “under clinical trials”  Dengvaxia vaccine to 833,000 elementary students.

On hindsight, the Dengvaxia anti-dengue vaccine was not the mistake since it was finally approved for permanent use by the regulatory agencies of US, European Union and 19 other countries in 2018.


In the April 2016 school-based vaccinations, there were no pre-injection processing of students to determine if they have existing medical conditions or co-morbidities. Even “vaccinators” were not carefully selected and there was no monitoring of adverse reactions of inoculated students. Finally, there was no master list of the total number of inoculated students in both DEPED and DOH.

Because of this, there had been reports of elementary students who died allegedly after getting the first dose in August 2016. In the ensuing Senate investigation, an officer of Sanofi Pharmaceuticals even “apologized” for exposing the children to a possible “severe disease”.

Clearly, it was the rushed and haphazard vaccination of Dengvaxia by the past Aquino administration that created the chaos, the exact opposite of  today’s DOH  vaccinations.

The big question still lingers, why did the outgoing Aquino administration launch their school-based Dengvaxia vaccination, with only two months before they left office in 2016?

COVID-19 situation in PH

As government speeds up vaccination of 1.7 million medical front liners nationwide, it is necessary to inform everyone on how our country’s COVID-19 situation compares worldwide in terms of cases and deaths per 1-million population.

I think we are doing great, despite negative/alarmist news, according to the latest info website. We are number 129 out of 219 countries worldwide with only 5,376 total cases per our 1-million population. In ASEAN, we are third to Singapore which leads with 10,207 cases per million while Malaysia is second with 9,601 cases per million. Indonesia is close fourth with 5,008 cases per million with Sri Lanka fifth at 3,991 per million.

Rich and medically advanced countries such as USA is at number 8 (89,359), Spain at number 19 (67,334) Switzerland at number 23 (64,648), UK at number 25 (61,919) and France at number 27 (59,723).


In terms of deaths per million, we are at number 118 out of 219 countries with only 113 deaths per 1-million population. Indonesia leads ASEAN with 135 deaths while Malaysia has 36 deaths, Sri Lanka, 23 deaths and Singapore at 5 deaths per 1-million.

United Kingdom is at number 6 worldwide (1,827 deaths), Italy is number 8 (1,652 deaths ), USA at number 11 (1,618 deaths), Spain at number 15 (1,521) and Mexico at number 16 (1,468 deaths per million).

These numbers speak the truth that since the pandemic outbreak last year, and whether there was a surge or spike happening, our country is still in a far better situation than others in this planet.

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