Philippine health department kicks off ‘catch-up immunization’ for children

Philippine health department kicks off ‘catch-up immunization’ for children

THE Philippine health department is addressing immunization gaps among children who missed vaccinations at the appropriate age by launching a catch-up program.

A significant number of children have failed to get their immunization shots for various diseases as the country was battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

But this year, the Department of Health (DOH) launched its “Catch-Up” Vaccination aimed to address this problem, especially with children who have not taken the right vaccination for their age.

According to Dr. Benito Atienza, Vice President 3 of the Philippine Federation of Professional Associations, this is an indispensable step to protect the children, especially for those who have yet get vaccinated.

“These vaccinations are crucial. By ‘catch-up,’ we mean reaching those who missed vaccinations. We will pursue them in health centers, private, and public hospitals,” Dr. Benito Atienza, Vice President 3, Philippine Federation of Professional Associations said.

“Especially during the pandemic, many 4-year-olds missed vaccinations because they couldn’t leave their homes. These children, now aged between 3-4, need to be prioritized in our Supplemental Immunization Activity (SIA),” he added.

The catch-up immunization targets children under two years old, protecting them from diseases such as Hepatitis B, Meningitis, Tuberculosis, Polio, and Pertussis.

Atienza, meanwhile added that the community-based routine immunization helps combat diseases like Measles, Rubella, Tetanus, and Diphtheria, typically administered to children aged 6-7 and 12-13.

“Live vaccinations like Measles, Mumps, Rubella – these are live, also, this varicella – these are [the vaccinations] that can be given one month apart,” he stressed.

Parents are encouraged to utilize the government’s free immunization services to protect their children from diseases.


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