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Sunday, March 3, 2019

PPS, PIDSP and PFV Released Childhood Immunization Schedule

Vaccines are important especially for children and adolescents since it helps strengthens the child's immune system in warding off communicable diseases such as measles which can be harmful to some. It is recommended that infants as young as 6 months old be given measles vaccines. This annual schedule of vaccines is developed by the Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) and the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines (PIDSP), together with the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination (PFV).

The annual schedule of vaccinations that Filipino children from infant to age 18 contains 13 vaccinations that includes anti-tuberculosis Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) and the Hepatitis B vaccine (HPV) which are given after birth. These two vaccines are included in the National Immunization Program (NIP), which are available for free at health centers.

The schedule of Childhood Immunization has vaccines that can help protect the children from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, Hepatitis B, haemophilus influenzae type B, polio, pneumococcal infections, rotavirus infections, influenza, measles, Japanese encephalitis, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, hepatitis A, and human papillomavirus (HPV).

A few months back, there's an outbreak of measles in the Philippines and it has claimed some young lives. Although measles vaccines are usually administered to infants at 9 months old, they can be given as early as 6 months old especially in cases such as an outbreak.

In line with this, medical practitioners launched the "Save The Future" movement during the PIDSP's 26th annual convention. This movement was created as a response to bring back the public's confidence when it comes to having their children vaccinated, as well as the national childhood immunization schedule guide.

"Vaccinating our children is one of the most basic medical interventions to ensure that our children develop as healthy adults. Some fears and myths persist that vaccines could harm infants, but decades of studies have shown that vaccines prevent unnecessary child deaths instead of causing them," said PIDSP President Dr. Anna Lisa T. Ong-Lim.

"While the Childhood Immunization Schedule contains our ideal vaccination routine, we acknowledge that some patients will require schedules that are different from our recommendations," said Dr. Salvacion Gatchalian. "That is why it is important for parents to consult their pediatricians so they can make the best possible decisions for the health and well-being of their children."

Of course, having an open communication line between parents and doctors is also very important. Parents need not be shy in asking doctors questions about vaccines and its importance.


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