Vaccines for kids available for free

Even poor parents and guardians can ensure that children are protected from certain diseases because a five-in-one vaccine and other vaccines are now being given for free in all government health centers in Western Visayas, according to the Department of Health.

Dr. Renilyn Reyes, medical specialist of DOH said that shots of Pentahib can protect children from diphtheria, pertusis, tetatnus, hepatitis B, and hemophilus influenza type B.

Diptheria is an upper respiratory tract illness whose symptoms are: sore throat, low fever, and an adherent membrane on the tonsils, pharynx, and/or nasal cavity.

Pertusis is a highly contagious bacterial disease causing severe coughing fits that last six weeks.
Hepatitis B is an infectious inflammatory illness of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV).
Tetanus, occurring through wound contamination, is characterized by a prolonged contraction of skeletal muscle fibers.

“If administered in private clinics, Pentahib costs P3,000 to P4,000. It requires two to three shots, so it’s expensive. Our government health centers are offering this for free,” she said.

This program is covered by the Mandatory Infant and Children’s Immunization Act of 2011, which recognizes that children are the nation’s assets, thus their well-being should be ensured.

DOH also offers free vaccination for tuberculosis, polio, rotavirus diarrhea, measles, mumps, and maternal and neonatal tetanus.

“The government recommends that an infant should be given a hepatitis B vaccine within 24 hours after birth, to protect him/her from liver cancer,” Reyes said.

“As for the rotavirus vaccine, she said that Iloilo City and Bacolod City residents, whether rich or poor, can avail of this for free. In other areas, only children listed under the (NHTS) National Household Targeting System can avail,” Reyes added.

Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhea among infants and young children.

She assured that the World Health Organization has pre-qualified these vaccines as safe and effective.*Marie Katherine Villalon with Wikipedia

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