Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo said they decided to change the protocol to maximize the diminishing supply of vaccines against animal bites.
Cesar Ramirez/File
Anti-rabies protocol modified due to vaccine shortage
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - October 3, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) has modified its protocol in vaccinating people bitten by animals, particularly dogs, amid the global shortage of anti-rabies vaccines for humans.

Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo said they decided to change the protocol to maximize the diminishing supply of vaccines against animal bites.

“Unfortunately, GSK has informed us that they are still unable to supply us with vaccines. Our regional offices are purchasing from small suppliers but still the supplies are not as plenty as before,” Domingo said during the recent DOH media seminar in Vigan City.

Domingo said the DOH reduced the standard five shots for animal bites to three. 

“For example, if one is bitten by a dog, after the first and second doses and the dog did not die after 14 days, that means you don’t have rabies. Therefore, we will not give the succeeding shots anymore,” he explained.

Domingo assured the public that the move would not compromise the safety of the dog bite victim.  

“We are sure about this because if a dog has rabies, it will die within 14 days. So if it remains alive within 14 days, it means it was not able to transmit rabies to the victim,” he said.

Domingo said the DOH has allowed its regional offices to acquire vaccines from small suppliers to prevent stocks from being depleted. 

He said shortage of anti-rabies vaccines is not only felt in the Philippines but in other countries as well.

GSK is one of the world’s main suppliers of anti-rabies vaccines for humans. 

The company discovered recently that their vaccines manufactured in China were contaminated.

ANTI-RABIES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH VACCINES
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