PH vaccination rate at an all-time low
The DOH National Immunization Program manager, Dr. Maria Wilda Silva, said that from January to March, vaccination coverage has dropped to 7 percent which is an all-time low. This number is way below the ideal 24 percent coverage for the country to reach the 95 percent target by end 2020.
“This is very low because of the disruption from both the supply and demand side,” Silva said in the recent online kapihan of Samahang Plaridel.
The call for immunization is strongly aligned with the statements released by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF which also highlighted the importance of continuing vaccination at this challenging time said that the benefits of immunization clearly outweigh the risks at this time.
DOH, experts call for continued immunization amid pandemic
“Don’t be afraid because children must get immunized. They are at higher risk of getting measles, polio, pneumonia and other vaccine-preventable diseases,” according to Dr. Lulu Bravo said, Executive Director of the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination.
“Let us all be reminded that first, if children and other vulnerable sectors are not vaccinated, they can get sick and can die from these vaccine-preventable diseases,” she adds.
According to an entry I read on FamilyDoctor.Org, Pneumococcal disease is caused by bacteria. It can lead to infections in the lungs, blood, and brain. Pneumococcal disease causes health problems in children younger than 5 years of age. This includes meningitis, blood infections, and ear infections. And children below 2 years old are at greater risk of infection.
Asked on the new evidence presented by the World Health Organization (WHO) saying that the two PCVs in the market are equally effective in protecting the children from pneumonia, Silva said: “When we did the cost effectiveness analysis, they are both cost effective. The price of PCV10 and PCV13, they fall on that range na cost effective sila pareho. But, of course, there is another benefit when we chose the PCV13 because it contains te three serotypes that are not found in PCV10 before. But now with the new evidence, this was now presented to National Immunization Committee and then it was brought up to the HTAC for further review and we are waiting for the review.”
In the article by kidshealth.org, I learned that children younger than 2 years old and adults over 65, as well as other people with some medical conditions are at high risk for serious pneumococcal infections. The PC vaccines are very effective at preventing severe disease, expensive hospitalization and death.
When Are Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine(PCV) Immunizations Given?
Infants get PCV immunizations as a series of four injections:
- the first at 2 months of age
- then at 4 months, 6 months, and 12–15 months
“Currently, there is only one available pneumococcal conjugate vaccine available in the market (PCV 13). It is a very expensive vaccine and its eating up more than 60% of the budget of the national immunization program. Mahal talaga pag isang produkto lang ang nasa merkado, ” Silva said.
The HTAC Review of the PCV vaccines is expected to be completed this June.
DID YOU KNOW?!
The Philippine Expanded Program on Immunization lead by Department of Health (DOH) seeks to ensure that children, particularly infants, and their mothers have access to vaccines recommended for their age to prevent specific diseases
In 2011, through Republic Act No. 10152, the mandatory basic immunization now covers:
DOH appealed to the public to avail of free vaccination in public health centers. This active campaign on vaccination helped in decreasing the number of cases of certain diseases in recent years.
“Sa ngayon, meron na tayong mabisang bala para sa tigdas, polio, tusperina, flu, pulmonya, pagtatae at iba pang mga sakit. So, labanan natin at sugpuin natin ito upang mapanatili nating malusog ang ating mga bata. Sama-sama, tulong-tulong tayong ihayag sa mga magulang kung gaano kahalaga ang magpabakuna.” (For now, we already have an effective defense weapon against measles, polio, pertussis, flu, pneumonia, diarrhea, and many other illnesses. We need to fight and beat these to ensure the health of our kids. We should all together make parents aware how important it is to get vaccinated.)
Let us make sure that we prevent any disease outbreak especially during this pandemic. We cannot afford to lose this preventable battle to diseases and affect the future Filipino children. Mahalaga po ang pagpapabakuna!