DOH expects more doses vs. pertussis, vaccine-preventable diseases

By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

March 26, 2024, 4:24 pm

<p>The pentavalent vaccine that protects against diptheria, tetanus, pertussis, influenza type B and hepatitis B. <em>(PNA photo by Joan Bondoc)</em></p>

The pentavalent vaccine that protects against diptheria, tetanus, pertussis, influenza type B and hepatitis B. (PNA photo by Joan Bondoc)

MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) is expecting the arrival of additional doses of vaccines against vaccine-preventable diseases.

In a statement Monday night, the DOH said around three million pentavalent vaccine doses are “arriving at the soonest possible time.”

These pentavalent vaccines protect against pertussis, diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis B, and hemophilus influenza type B.

The DOH has also ordered at least five million more measles-rubella vaccine doses “further to what is available on hand.”

“Of this quantity, Secretary Teodoro Herbosa has instructed to fast-track the immediate dispatch of one million doses that may be delivered as soon as possible. These will add to the more than 64,400 and 2.6 million doses of pentavalent and measles-rubella vaccines, respectively, already being distributed,” the agency said.

The DOH said its Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Units (RESUs) at the Centers for Health Development are in touch with local government units.

“We expect updated Pertussis and Measles data to be available in the next few days, and that will guide the nationwide response,” it said.

“Accurate and responsible reporting has drawn attention to the need to catch up with vaccination after the pandemic. After all, these are vaccine- preventable diseases,” it added.

The DOH said Herbosa and a team of DOH officials and staff are in the field coordinating with local Public Health Emergency Operations Centers following the orders of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.

“We ask for the public's patience with information releases for security reasons, and to minimize disruption while the outbreak response is carried out,” the DOH said.

In the meantime, the DOH advised the public to carry on with daily activities but voluntary use of face masks is highly encouraged, as it advised everyone to cover coughs (cough into your elbow); choose well-ventilated areas; and to consult the doctor or nearest health center should there be any symptoms or health concerns. (PNA)