Parents encouraged to have their kids immunized at health centers

The City Government of Davao, through the City Health Office, is urging all parents to have their children, especially newborns, vaccinated in any of the district and barangay health centers in the city.

Parents are also encouraged to follow the vaccination schedule specified in the Philippine National Immunization Program (NIP) of the Department of Health (DOH). Following the NIP’s vaccination schedule ensures maximum protection of a child against diseases while assuring their bodies can properly handle the antigens in the vaccines.

Under the NIP, a newborn must be administered with the BCG Vaccine (Bacillus Calmette – Guérin or Tuberculosis vaccine) and the Hepa B Vaccine at birth.

At six weeks old, an infant can be given the PENTA vaccine which fights Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenzae type b diseases. They can also be vaccinated against polio with the Oral Polio Vaccine which is given in three doses as well as the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV). Vaccines given in partial are administered in intervals.

A child must be given two doses of the MMR Vaccine (Measles – Mumps-Rubella) at 9 and 12 months.

According to the World Health Organization, a child must be administered with all of the mentioned vaccines at the age of 1, to be considered a ‘fully immunized child’ (FIC) while one given all mentioned vaccines past 12 months are dubbed a ‘completely immunized child’ (CIC).

In 2022, Davao City immunized 74.4 percent of its target population of children. Of these, 56.4 percent are FIC while 18 percent are CIC.

CHO District Health Office A (Tomas Claudio) Head Vilma Gonzaga said that although the people’s opinion on vaccines is generally favorable, there are still several skeptic parents who need further encouragement to have their children immunized.

“Naay pipila na mahadlok na sa sugod pa lang, dili na gyud magpabakuna pero gamay lang gyud kayo na porsyento; siguro sa usa ka barangay naay isa or duha pero gina-follow up na namo sila from time to time to try to change their minds (There are some who are afraid and they refuse the vaccines but there are only very few of them; maybe in a barangay there are one or two but we monitor them from time to time to try to change their minds),” Gonzaga said in an interview with the City Information Office.

“Gina-awhag namo tanang mga parents, labi na naay mga anak na 12 months old pababa, na ipabakuna gyud ninyo inyong mga anak sa mga health centers. Kani siya libre ug accessible gyud na sa tanang health center. Kahit asa sila na health center naa gyud ang immunization kay isa gyud na maka-prepare laban sa mga sakit-sakit sa atong mga anak gyud (We are urging all parents, especially those with children 12 months old and younger, to have their kids vaccinated in the health centers. This is free and accessible in all health centers. All health centers offer immunization because this will prepare our kids against the most common diseases),” she added.

All health centers conduct immunization on Wednesdays as specified in the NIP which designates every Wednesday as National Immunization Day. Health center personnel in the city also conduct house-to-house vaccinations to track down on those who missed their vaccination schedule. CIO

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