The Philippine Department of Health (DOH) reminds parents of the importance of routine immunization among infants and kids 13 years old and below. This, as the department, observed "accessibility challenges to routine vaccination caused by the pandemic."
In a Facebook post on December 27, 2021, DOH released an advisory on pediatric COVID-19 vaccination among children below 12 years old. "COVID-19 vaccines for ages 5 to 11 are not yet being administered in the country," the health department reminded the public.
DOH adds, "while waiting for COVID-19 vaccine to be rolled out in this age group, the DOH with the support from the Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS), strongly urges parents to have their children receive routine vaccines."
Routine vaccines are important in protecting infants and kids against life-threatening diseases. "For routine vaccines to be effective, children need to complete the required doses according to schedule from the time they are born," the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) explained.
Protect infants and kids and vaccine-preventable diseases
Last December 21, DOH said it's ramping up efforts to promote the country's routine vaccination program after 2020 records show that "immunization coverage among infants and children is 3.9% lower than the coverage rate on 2019."
Immunization of children against some of the vaccine-preventable diseases is free in health centers across the country. As an additional effort to promote routine immunization, barangays are currently conducting "Bakuna Wednesday."
DOH also released guidelines to implement catch-up immunization for those who missed their vaccination schedule that may be because of mobility restrictions due to COVID-19.
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Dr. Beverly Lorraine Ho, Director of the DOH-Health Promotion Bureau, reminded parents how the "COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how valuable vaccines are. We should keep ourselves and our children up to date with vaccinations."
She adds, "diseases can spread quickly with dreadful consequences without the protection of vaccines. Let’s protect our babies and children from acquiring 13 vaccine-preventable diseases."
Routine vaccination help protect infants and kids from the following disease:
haemophilus influenzae type B
human papillomavirus (HPV)
Pediatric vaccination for kids ages 11 and below
Last December 23, 2021, The Food And Drug Administration announced it approved the emergency use of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years old. For the younger age group, DOH says "dose and concentration of Pfizer vaccine is different."