DOH, DepEd ready for ‘School-based Immunization Program’

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By Franklin P. Gumapon (FPG/PIA9)

PAGADIAN CITY, Aug. 2 (PIA) – After the conduct of the national deworming day last month, the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Education (DepEd) are now ready for the month-long school-based immunization program starting Aug. 1-31.

Ms. Ma. Victoria B. Arquiza, coordinator for Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), DOH-9, said in a media forum held here earlier that the school-based immunization program is a follow-up to the Measles Containing Vaccine (MCV) immunization of under five years old children aged 9-59 months, aimed at interrupting measles transmission in the older population.

All grade 1 children will be given MCV and tetanus and diphtheria (Td) while grade 7 children will be immunized against measles and rubella (MR) and Td.

Arquiza explained “the immunity wanes as the years go by, hence this ‘catch-up immunization’ will be administered to schoolchildren to provide them with booster immunity against those diseases.”

Human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine will also be given to all grade 4 female students in the 20 priority poorest provinces in the country, namely, Apayao, Ifugao, Pangasinan, Masbate, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Zamboanga del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu, Quezon, Camarines Sur, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Cebu, Lanao del Sur, Davao Oriental, North Cotabato and Sarangani.

All vaccines are given free of charge.

DOH-9 aims to cover 90 percent , more or less, of the target schoolchildren in the region.