DOH prepares immunization vs encephalitis

Published March 19, 2019, 3:39 PM

by Patrick Garcia

By Analou de Vera

The Department of Health (DOH) will start the Japanese Encephalitis (JE) vaccination campaign in four regions in the country this month.


The JE virus is transmitted by Culex mosquitoes that breed in water pools and flooded rice fields. Its symptoms include sudden onset of high fever, chills, headache, and tiredness.

The DOH said that “children nine months old to less than five years old will be eligible to receive the vaccine through the immunization campaign.”

“In 2018, there were 340 laboratory confirmed JE cases nationwide, with Region III (Central Luzon) reporting the highest number of cases (110 cases), followed by Regions I (Ilocos Region) and II (Cagayan Valley),” the DOH noted.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III assured that the vaccine is safe and effective.

“This vaccine is WHO- (World Health Organization) prequalified and Philippine FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved. It is safe and effective. It has been used for over 30 years in 12 countries and given to more than 400 million children with an excellent safety record,” the health chief said.

“I urge the public to protect the community from Japanese encephalitis. Protect the infants and children from contracting this deadly disease by getting JE immunization,” he added.

The DOH said that Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley Region, Central Luzon, and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) are “most affected” by the mosquito-borne disease.