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Parents are reminded to have their children immunized

Parents with children who are eligible for the Department of Health’s (DOH) routine immunization program can inquire with local barangay health workers (BHWs) about the schedule or make an appointment for their child’s routine vaccination.

Dr. Daphynie Teorima, Child Health and National Immunization Program Coordinator of the Department of Health’s Western Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH WV CHD), said routine immunization for measles, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria (MR-TD), and human papillomavirus (HPV) is still going on this year.

“Despite the epidemic, we need to increase our immunization programs,” she added. “Otherwise, another outbreak could develop, and this time our children will be directly harmed.”

Teorima noted that they had previously given the directive to health staff to increase catch-up actions before the start of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Since health workers have been focused on coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) response and inoculation, routine immunization has been disrupted and delayed.

She believes that now that the number of cases in the region is slowing, it is time for them to catch up on vaccine-preventable diseases.

“Due to the pandemic last year, we were still changing how to do various tasks. That is why it is critical that they take use of the programs, as many youngsters do not have their immunizations,” Teorima stated.

The Department of Health hopes to vaccinate roughly 140,000 toddlers aged two and under for the catch-up immunization.

These are toddlers who have not received their full dosage of vaccinations or whose immunization schedules have been postponed due to quarantine constraints.

Because there are no school-based services due to a shortage of face-to-face sessions, approximately 400,000 children will receive community-based immunizations covering MRTD booster doses for ages 6 to 7 and 12 to 13, as well as HPV for ages 9 to 14.

In the cities of Iloilo and Bacolod, as well as the provinces of Antique, Iloilo, and Negros Occidentales, the HPV will be administered to the target age group.

She advises children aged 12 to 14 to get the non-Covid-19 vaccine two weeks after receiving their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Either the health workers do a door-to-door immunization or the youngsters go to health clinics are the possibilities.

Since the 1970s, children have been immunized on a regular basis. She went on to say that the immunizations utilized are safe, free, and effective.

Children are vulnerable to preventable diseases such as measles, tetanus, and polio as a result of the vaccine delays, some of which have long-term consequences.

“Measles may impair their hearing, reducing their learning ability, and as they get older, their school performance may deteriorate, affecting their work possibilities,” she said.

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