IMAGE Amanda Mills/CDC (Public Health Image Library)
Doctors have added one more vaccine to their list of recommended immunization shots for children ages 0 to 18 years old, for a total of 14 vaccinations in all for Filipino children.
The Dengue Tetravalent vaccine, which was made available in the Philippines early last year, is now on the recently released Childhood Immunization Schedule for 2017. The guide is prepared annually by the Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) along with the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines and the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination (PFV).
Doctors from the above groups recommend the dengue vaccine be administered to children 9 years old and above. Three injections (or "doses") are needed to complete the vaccination.
Below is the immunization schedule in full. Note that some vaccines require several shots at different ages, as plotted on the chart. A few of the vaccine types already contain protection from several diseases too, like the Measles-Mumps-Rubella-Varicella (MMR) vaccine.
As soon as they are born, babies receive the Hepatitis B vaccine (HBV) and the Bacillus Calmette-Guarin (BCG). Remember, however, that the HBV requires several more doses.
The vaccines with asterisks should be given at least four weeks apart, and the length of the yellow bar indicates that the vaccine can be given within that time frame.
Most of your child's vaccinations will be given during his first two years of life (at least several shots during his first or second month checkup based on the chart). There are several vaccines like the Influenza vaccine (taken yearly) that are administered or continued as he grows older.
Your baby's pediatrician follows the schedule set here, and many, if not all, will provide immunization record books to note each vaccine shot. Keeping a record is crucial especially when your kids go to school; many educational institutions for toddlers and preschoolers require parents to submit their children's immunization records.
Remember to check with your child’s pedia before administering vaccines. “Nearly all children can be safely vaccinated,” says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, exemptions include those with allergies and high-risk conditions (such as children with chronic heart, lung and kidney disease).
The vaccines that the National Immunization Program provides are listed below. These are available in health facilities, centers and clinics for all Filipino children free of cost.
BCG Vaccine; given at birth
Monovalent Hepatitis B vaccine; given at birth
DPT-Hib-Hep B Vaccine
Oral Polio Vaccine
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV)
Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine (MMR)
There is a continuing (and insistent) opinion that vaccines cause autism in otherwise healthy babies, a view that the American Academy of Pediatrics (APA), the CDC, and several large studies have disputed and found no evidence to support it.
The notion that vaccine can cause autism came from a 1998 study by Dr. Andrew Wakefield and twelve of his colleagues. As Esquiremag.ph reported, the study found a link between the MMR vaccine and a suspected new syndrome involving autism and a non-specific bowel disease.
"The only problem with [Dr. Wakefield's] findings was that 'the data clearly appeared to be distorted.' Unbeknownst to the patients’ parents and the medical community, Wakefield was paid to distort the study’s data for a lawsuit involving this new syndrome. While he was eventually discredited, the irrational fear of vaccines would continue to live on in the minds of many parents," Esquiremag.ph wrote.
Vaccinations prevent serious, life-threatening diseases, its spread, and the complications they can cause, says the CDC. They protect not only your child but his friends, classmates and the rest of the community.
The full Childhood Immunization Schedule 2017 file, which includes detailed info on each of the vaccines and more, can be found on the PFV website here.