WHO helps DOH identify anti-rabies vaccine suppliers

By Leilani Junio

April 6, 2018, 9:33 pm

MANILA --The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday said that it is coordinating with the Department of Health (DOH) in identifying possible suppliers of human anti-rabies vaccine to fill in the foreseen shortage of the vaccine in the country.

"So, we're working with DOH to identify suppliers that will be able to supply the (human-anti rabies) vaccine but also of good quality," said Dr. Gundo Weiler, WHO Philippines Country Representative.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier said that they will seek sources of the vaccine as long as the suppliers have received WHO certification of pre-qualified vaccines.

Weiler, however, said that being on the list of WHO prequalified vaccine is a requirement for some suppliers to be able to become one of the eligible suppliers to DOH for program recipients or those that need to be protected from the human rabies.

Having vaccines certified by WHO will get them included in the list of pre-qualified drugs.

Weiler said that vaccines which are not on the list does not automatically mean that the product is of poor quality.

"But if those are not available or there are also those other producers who have not met the requisite certification, or in effect that it does not received certifcation, it doesn't mean that the drug is substandard," he said.

He said that in a situation wherein there no enough vaccine available, there is a need to be flexible or look beyond the circumstance.

"This is because at the end of the day, what counts is protecting the population and to have enough vaccine available, and if there is a temporary shortage in one domain, there are ways to go beyond this," Weiler said.

He said that what is important is the vaccines are registered and has passed the quality standard set by the country's Food and Drug Administration which has the power to issue certificate of product registration. (PNA)