Expert assures PH can access vaccines for monkeypox

Published May 25, 2022, 5:49 PM

by Analou de Vera


A health expert assured that the Philippines can access the needed vaccines against monkeypox if necessary.

“Bagama’t ngayon ay wala pa naman tayong stockpiles ng vaccines, mayroon naman tayong (Although we do not have stockpiles of vaccines yet, we have) contacts with the United States Center for Disease Control and other agencies,” said Department of Health-Technical Advisory Group (DOH-TAG) member Dr. Edsel Salvana

“Kung kakailanganin natin ng tulong para sa pag-procure nito, may linkages naman po iyong ating gobyerno (Should we need help for its procurement, the government has linkages),” he added.

The government has already heightened its monitoring of monkeypox, said Salvana.

“This is something na kailangan lang nating bantayan, pero this is not on the level of Covid po talaga (This is something that we need to monitor but this is not really at the level of Covid),” he said.

Salvana said medical professionals have enough knowledge to handle monkeypox cases since this disease is not new. The World Health Organization said “human monkeypox was first identified in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”

“Hindi po talaga ito parang Covid na wala talaga tayong alam nang nag-start noong March 2020. Marami na po tayong alam sa monkeypox (It’s not like Covid wherein we lack knowledge when it started in March 2020. We already know a lot about monkeypox),” he said.

“It doesn’t spread as fast, mas madali siyang i-contact-trace and iyon nga, it’s not deadly. And actually, there are medications that are proven to work on this,” he noted.

Minimum public health standards, particularly the wearing of face masks, are also effective to prevent getting infected with monkeypox, said Salvana.

“Iyong ginagawa natin ngayon na naka-mask tayo lahat, actually mabisa rin iyon to prevent monkeypox (The wearing of face mask, which we are currently doing, is actually also effective to prevent getting monkeypox),” he said.