The stage of infancy to childhood is a very critical stage. Their immune system is not yet fully developed until 2-3 months. Babies produce antibodies when they are become exposed to viruses. It is important to boost the baby's immune system and to protect them from diseases, illness, and other infections by making sure that they have complete vaccination.
As a parent, if asked of what makes us happy, we can simply and wholeheartedly answer that it would be our kids. We always want the best for them and see them grow healthy and away from sickness.
Vaccination can protect our child from deadly diseases like Measles, Polio Hepatitis B, Tetanus, and Pneumonia which is now the number one killer disease among children age 0-5 years old. The vaccine in a child's body builds up antibodies to protect them from getting the diseases. This is also a way to reduce the spread of diseases.
Parents can avail the free vaccination in all public health centers nationwide. The vaccine-preventable diseases include
- Hepatitis B
- German measles
- H-Influenza B
The Philippines has zero cases of measles and polio since 2010 but due to the low numbers of babies being vaccinated,In 2018, there was a measle outbreak with 20,827 cases are reported and 199 deaths.
The DOH reported that the vaccination coverage has dropped to 7% percent which is way below the ideal 24 percent coverage for the country to reach the 95 percent target by the end of 2020.
Dr. Maria Wlda Silva, Manager of DOH National Immunization Program shared that one of the vaccine-preventable diseases, pneumonia, remains the number one killer disease among children 5 years old and below. The tender for the child pneumococcal vaccine between PCV 10 and PCV 13 is currently being reviewed by the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) for comparability and cost-effectiveness.
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 the three serotypes that are not found in PCV10 before. But 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.”
The PCV tender is massive, which is even bigger than that of the controversial Dengvaxia procurement. “Currently, there is only one available pneumococcal conjugate vaccine available in the market (PCV 13). It is a very expensive vaccine and it's 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.
The Philippines now ranked as #1 in Asia with the highest fatality rate of Covid-19. As of now, we could not afford a new outbreak while battling with this pandemic. Tha's why the DOH and other medical experts are calling the attention of all parents to continue the immunization especially for newborn babies to children age 1- 5 years old despite the quarantine.
We have the vaccines to make sure that our children are protected against measles, polio, pertussis, flu, pneumonia, diarrhea, and many other illnesses. Visit the nearest health centers in your area or your pediatrician.