DOH working to secure smallpox vaccines, meds vs monkeypox from USAID


The Department of Health (DOH) said it is now in communication with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in order to obtain smallpox vaccines and medicines for its possible fight against monkeypox.

“We like to assure that we are in constant communication with our counterparts, particularly the USAID, in securing both the vaccines and the medicines,” said DOH Officer-in-Charge Undersecretary of Public Health Services Team Beverly Ho in a press briefing on Thursday, July 28.

“So, the medicines will come in handy just in case the case is not a simple one,” she added.

The government will likely use smallpox vaccines and medicines for monkeypox through a compassionate special permit (CSP), which will be issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said Ho.

“Our route now is if we receive the vaccines it will really be through CSP—Compassionate Special Permit that FDA will be issuing for a limited amount of time,” she said.

“So that’s really our route. Once we get the donations, we can use it ASAP,” she added.

Ho, meanwhile, said that they will also continue to prepare to provide “supportive therapy” to people who will contract the disease.

“Our main treatment modality is supportive therapy. So, we basically relieve their symptoms and make sure that they don't go into much worse condition---basically that's our supportive therapy,” she said.

Last July 24, the DOH said there is no confirmed case of monkeypox yet in the Philippines. It also assured the public that the Philippines is ready for a possible monkeypox outbreak.

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