MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) announced on Sunday that over 1 million students nationwide will be receiving three doses of dengue vaccines worth Php 3,000.

According to DOH Secretary Janette Garin, a total of Php 3.5 billion will be allotted for the said program. This program is said to target public school students in areas with high number of dengue cases.

Garin further clarified that the free vaccination is completely optional and not mandatory. This means that parents may opt not to have their children vaccinated.

The first shot of dengue vaccine is scheduled to start in March this year before the school year ends. The second shot would be given on September and the third shot is said to be on March 2017.

Dengue Carrying Mosquito: File Photo.
Dengue Carrying Mosquito: File Photo.

Garin stated that the initial beneficiaries of this anti-dengue vaccine program will be grade 4 students from the National Capital Region (NCR), Region III and Region IV-A, where the highest number of dengue cases has been reported.

Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy, the spokesperson for the DOH, then said that the funds for the said program will come from government’s sin tax revenues.