The Dengvaxia controversy led to the significant decline in vaccination, based on the results of a study conducted by the University of the Philippines (UP)-Diliman College of Mass Communication.

This was announced by Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña on the DOSTv Facebook page on Friday, Aug. 6.

Citing the report of the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), he bared the completion of the UP Diliman’s project entitled “Dengue Communication: Discovering Prevailing Perceptions Toward Dengue and Dengvaxia.”

Funded by DOST-PCHRD, the study was spearheaded by Dr. Elena E. Pernia of the UP College of Mass Communication.

“Results of the study showed that incidence of every vaccination among children is positively correlated with exposure to media content on dengue, more so with the news that has affected their actions in regards to dengue,” de la Peña said.

“Moreover, findings also showed that hospitalization for children is not influenced by media platforms as being a source of information. The possible route from campaigns on dengue towards preventing hospitalization has yet to be determined,” he added.

The DOST chief said the UP-Diliman project offered an analysis of media, Department of Health (DOH)-produced materials, audience reception and interpersonal information sources on dengue and Dengvaxia.

He said the influence of these sources on the trust and confidence in interventions for dengue and other immunization programs was explored in the study.

“The Dengvaxia controversy led to the significant decline in vaccination. Other factors also include illiteracy and lack of information about vaccines,” de la Peña said.

He said the project serves as a support for actualization of the community’s perception which is greatly associated with different media vehicles and information outlets in terms of having opinions about dengue and Dengvaxia.

“It reiterated that the success of every immunization and health program greatly depends on public understanding and the readiness of the public to support it.”