Good health and well-being is one of the best gifts we can give to our children. It’s a peace of mind that every parents and society aims every single day towards the good economy. Last year, that peace was threatened by the fallout of “Dengvaxia” vaccination program of The Department of Health. It created fear to the public and lessen the trust of parents towards vaccination for children.
That’s why Pediatric doctors all over the country have come together to launch an advocacy to stop the stigma against vaccine programs of the government. It also aimed at restoring the confidence of the public in the globally accepted and effective protocol of childhood vaccination in response to the measles outbreak.
The Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines (PIDSP) partnered with the Department of Health to launch the “Save The Future” campaign that seeks to engage in activities that will highlight the safety and efficacy of vaccines provided by the public program. This also promotes the good cause of child vaccination and make it as an essential part towards good child development.
The movement brings together the members of PIDSP as well as the other subspecialty societies of the Philippine Pediatric Society. The PPS, established in 1947, is the oldest medical society of physicians caring for newborns, infants, children and adolescents in the Philippines.
“Addressing the issue of vaccine hesitancy within our individual and collective capacities is a matter of professional as well as personal responsibility being Filipino citizens,” stated PIDSP president Dr. Anna Lisa T. Ong-Lim. “Our movement is a public-private partnership that aims to mobilize our society members to cooperate and collaborate with government stakeholders in making the most of our available vaccine resources and to deploy them properly and effectively.”
In a recent joint letter to its member-doctors and the DOH, the PPS and PIDSP issued an “urgent plea” to “immunize eligible children against vaccine-preventable diseases.” This primarily involves the routine immunization schedule for infants that vaccinates against tuberculosis, diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus, polio, Hemophilus influenza B, hepatitis B and measles from birth to the first year of life.
The organizations reminded pediatricians to ensure up-to-date immunization of their patients as part of the primary responsibility of their individual practices. In particular response to the current measles outbreak, PPS and PIDSP also now recommend pediatricians to administer the first dose of measles vaccine to infants starting at the age of 6 months instead of the usual 9 months, as recommended in the country’s Childhood Immunization Schedule. The schedule is determined annually by both societies along with the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination (PFV).
PPS and PIDSP also urged members to collaborate and coordinate with their respective city, municipal or provincial health offices in organizing community-based regular vaccine mission activities to help administer free measles and other vaccines that are available to qualified children, adolescents and even adults.
This online community has also been created at www.facebook.com/SaveTheFuturePH in order to help drive a digital information, education and communication campaign. Visit their social media sites for more updates and news.