Senators urge parents to get kids vaccinated

By Filane Mikee Cervantes

February 7, 2019, 7:19 pm

MANILA -- Two senators on Thursday appealed to parents to have their children vaccinated amid the declaration of a measles outbreak in several regions of the country.

In an interview, Senator Nancy Binay said there should be a concerted effort to regain public trust in vaccines, stressing that the government's immunization program has been proven effective over the past decades.

"Itong bakuna sa tigdas matagal na itong programa ng pamahalaan. This is part of the national immunization program so wala hong dapat concern yung ating mga magulang pagdating sa bakuna na ito (The measles vaccine has long been part of the program of the government. This is part of the national immunization program so this should not be a cause for concern among parents when it comes to this vaccine)," Binay said.

"Mas malaki hong pinsala ang magaganap kung hindi ho tayo magpapabakuna ng tigdas (Greater harm would come if we do not get vaccinated for measles)," she added.

She said this is not the time to point fingers over the vaccination hesitancy caused by the controversial anti-dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia, which tainted the immunization program of the Department of Health (DOH).

Binay said the DOH should instead intensify its efforts in its information campaign on the benefits of the vaccination program.

"Siguro dapat ang DOH should step up their campaign. Kung kailangang mag door-to-door gawin nila para talagang masigurado na may bakuna itong mga bata (The DOH should probably step up their campaign. If need be, they should conduct a door-to-door campaign to ensure that children will get vaccinated)," Binay said.

Meanwhile, Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito, chairman of the Senate Committee on health and demography, stressed the importance of vaccines to avert the possible ill effects of infectious diseases, noting that the immunization is administered free in barangay health centers.

"Children and pregnant women who remain unvaccinated are the most prone and are really at the highest risk of acquiring measles... this could result to long-term complications, and even worse, death," Ejercito said in a statement.

Ejercito also urged the public to bring all suspected cases to the nearest health facility for early treatment.

He also called on the medical community, including medical schools and the public in general, to launch a heightened awareness campaign on the importance of vaccination for measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases. (PNA)