DOH Offers Free School-Based Immunization This August


The Department of Health (DOH) together with the Department of Education (DepEd) and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), formally launched Bakuna para sa Kabataan, Proteksyon sa Kinabukasan, a free immunization program this August which will be given to students in public schools nationwide.

The school-based immunization program targets to immunize over 2.4 million Grade 1 and more than 1.6 million Grade 7 pupils all over the Philippines against measles, rubella, tetanus, and diphtheria.

The launch of the immunization program was held in Camarines Sur National High School led by DOH Health Secretary Janette P. Loreto-Garin and other DOH, DILG, and DepEd officials. They were also joined by members of the local government unit of Camarines Sur City headed by 3rd District Representative Leni Robredo, Naga Mayor John G. Bongat, and Vice-Governor Fortunato S. Peña.

Health Secretary Janette P. Loreto-Garin stated that the vaccines used for the program are safe and effective. The World Health Organization approved the said vaccines and it is used worldwide. Garin also emphasized that only children with consent forms from their parents or guardian are allowed to have the vaccines.

Prior to the launch, parents/guardians, as well as teachers and their students were oriented on what they will expect during and after vaccination. One of these is the discomfort that the student may experience due to the painful yet tolerable administration of the vaccine. It was advised that a warm compress to injection site should be done to relieve pain.

In addition, trained health workers in all regions are also mobilized to give information on the possible side effects of vaccines and manage if these symptoms persist. Among the possible side-effects are fainting, swelling or redness on the injection site, fever, and rashes.

DOH also teams up with DILG to launch a community-based immunization program against the human papillomavirus (HPV), the main cause of cervical cancer. In the Philippines, cervical cancer is one of the leading causes of female mortality with 12 Filipino women dying every day. The said immunization started yesterday in Bicol Medical Center. This aims to immunize girls aged 9-10 years old against HPV for free, to prevent infection and life-threatening diseases.

Moreover, DOH encourages the public, especially mothers, to undergo cervical cancer screening. Pap smear or visual inspection using acetic acid (VIA) should be done on women who are sexually active or had a history of sexual contact as cervical cancer screening methods. Cervical cancer can be treated and cured if detected early. Cervical cancer screening is available in DOH retained hospitals.

“Our goal for immunization coverage is to reach 95% of our children across the country. We in the government believe that the children are the future of our country and it is our obligation to give them the best quality of life that the government can offer. Kaya tayo ay magsama sama para mabura ang mga sakit na ito at manatiling malusog at masigla ang ating mga mag-aaral. Ang SBIP ay ating nagagawa dahil sa patuloy na pagtahak natin sa tuwid na daan at dahil dito tuloy-tuloy and kalusugan” Garin concluded.

The school-based immunization will be conducted August of every year.

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