THE Department of Health has reminded mothers and caregivers of children five years old and below that they can still bring their child to the nearest health center for the “patak” polio immunization.
Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire of the Public Health Services Team reported that they were able to give the “patak” polio to only 54 percent of their target during the first round of the Synchronized Polio Vaccination conducted in the City of Manila from August 19-31 this year.
“This is unacceptable, this is far below the required 95 percent,” she said.
Vergeire stressed that the DOH is strongly urging mothers and caregivers to bring their child five years old and below to the nearest health center for immunization because there is no cure for polio, adding that it can only be prevented with three doses of the polio vaccine that are safe and effective.
“Vaccination is the best way to protect your child against vaccine-preventable diseases such as polio, measles, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and tuberculosis, among others,” she said.
Senator Sonny Angara on Sunday confirmed that the DoH will have a total of P7.54 billion for its national immunization program in 2020.
Under the program, vaccines will be administered for free to children, pregnant women, men and women.
More or less 2.7 million infants will be given vaccines against tuberculosis, hepatitis B, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, measles, rubella, influenza and polio. Two million of these infants will be given flu shots.
The Department of Education would be part of the program through the administration of vaccines against tetanus, diphtheria, measles and rubella to 2.4 million Grade1 and 1.9 million Grade 7 students.
Some 2.7 million pregnant women will be given anti-tetanus vaccines while for the elderly, two million flu shots and 500,000 units of pneumonia vaccines will be made available.
“Kung ano man ang kulang pa, sabihin sa amin ng DoH. Pero hindi nangangahulugan na dagdag-pondo kaagad. Baka pwede, lipat-pondo within the budget of DoH,” Angara said.
“Sinasabi na nasa P650 million ang advertising budget nila. Baka pwedeng i-rechannel ito sa mga programa na in support of the vaccination drive,” Angara added.
There are other developments or health crisis that the DoH has to take into account such as the outbreak of dengue and polio, which would definitely require additional funding to address.
The proposed P160 billion budget of the DoH has already been taken up at the committee level and will be subject to further scrutiny during the plenary debates on the 2020 national budget next month.
With Marlon Purificacion