Want to protect your child from the complications of pneumonia? Here’s what you need to know about the anti-pneumonia vaccine in the Philippines.
What can you read in this article?
- When should my child have his vaccine?
- How much is the anti pneumonia vaccine in the Philippines?
- What are the side effects of the vaccine?
Pneumonia is the leading cause of death of children aged 1 to 5 in the Philippines. Nearly a million children die around the world every year because of the disease. It’s a good thing that aside from other health safety measures, there is now an anti-pneumonia vaccine that protects against the disease.
However, some parents are still hesitant on having their children inoculated because of what they read or hear on social media. So to show them the severity of the disease and the protection the vaccine gives our children, first we need to discuss: what is pneumonia?
Pneumonia on kids
Pneumonia is an infectious disease in the lungs usually caused by a virus, bacteria or fungi. This happens when the air sacs of the lungs are filled with pus and fluid that cause cough with phlegm. This makes it hard for the oxygen to reach the bloodstream of a person.
Mild pneumonia in children can cause chills, fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing. However, it can lead to hospitalization and serious complication like bacteria entering in the bloodstream (sepsis and septic shock)
Because the virus and bacteria can be passed on through air droplets, pneumonia is very contagious, especially among school-aged children. Those at risk for having pneumonia are children who have a weak immune system (especially those ages 2 and younger) and respiratory conditions like asthma.
Anti pneumonia vaccine price in Philippines | Image from Freepik
Symptoms of Pneumonia
Here are the following signs that are usually present in children with pneumonia
- Shortness of breath (hingal)
- Labored breathing with wheezing sounds (halak)
- Chest pain
- Stuffy nose
However, parents should also note that there is such a thing as atypical pneumonia or “walking pneumonia,” wherein the person doesn’t exhibit symptoms of the disease, but when he is examined through a chest x-ray, you will find that he has pneumonia and it may progress without you knowing it.
So how do you treat something without knowing or seeing the symptoms? For this reason, medical experts advise that the best way to protect ourselves and our children from pneumonia is getting the anti pneumonia vaccine.
Anti pneumonia vaccine in the Philippines
Here are some important information that parents need to know about the anti-pneumonia vaccine in the Philippines.
1. What does the vaccine protect my child against?
The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, or PCV as it is commonly called protects infants and toddlers against 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria, which has also been known to cause ear infections, meningitis, and septicemia (blood poisoning).
Some researchers also found that PCV can also help reduce the complications or the severity of Covid-19.
Anti pneumonia vaccine price in Philippines | Image from Freepik
2. My child doesn’t go out of the house. Should my child still get vaccinated?
As mentioned earlier, the virus or bacteria that causes pneumonia is easily spread through droplets. And there is such a thing as walking pneumonia where the one carrying the virus doesn’t display any symptoms. So it is highly likely that the bacteria could enter your home and infect your child without knowing it. For this reason, medical experts strongly advise babies (especially since they have a weak immune system) to get vaccinated with PCV.
3. When should my child get his anti pneumonia vacccine?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), doctors give this vaccine to children at 4 doses: at 2 months, at 4 months, 6 months and 12 through 15 months old. With each dose intentionally scheduled at least 4 weeks apart. It’s still best to consult your pediatrician regarding the best schedule and brand of vaccine for your little one.
If your child missed the vaccine during these critical months, you may talk to your child’s pediatrician about having catch up immunization.
If your baby is not feeling well on the day that he is scheduled to have his vaccine, ask your pediatrician first if it is okay for him to take the shot or reschedule the following week.
4. How long does pneumonia shot last?
The pneumonia vaccine in the Philippines helps one person from having the pneumococcal disease. This vaccine can help and protect them for about a couple of years.
You must have 4 pneumonia shots at the age of 2 years old and younger. Then at the age of 65 and above, you must have 2 shots of vaccine.
5. Does having the vaccine mean that my child will not have pneumonia?
According to Dr. Cecilia Alinea, a pediatrician and ambulatory diseases specialist, having the vaccine does not mean that your child will be 100 percent protected from any disease. However, it protects him from having serious symptoms and complications.
“The beauty of having your vaccine is that even if it is not foolproof, it still lessens the severity of your disease. Makes the signs and symptoms milder,” she said.
6. How much is the anti pneumonia vaccine in the Philippines?
In 2013, the pneumococcal conjugate (anti-pneumonia) vaccine was initially made available for free in health centers nationwide by the Department of Health (DOH) as part of their Expanded Program on Immunization.
However, for those who want to have their child vaccinated in private hospitals, the price of the PCV vaccine ranges from P1,800 to P3,000.
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7. Does the vaccine have any side effects?
Like any other vaccines, your child might experience some mild side effects after getting their shot. However, these should all be manageable and should go away within a few days.
According to Healthline, Possible side effects of the PCV13 vaccine include:
- redness, pain, or swelling at the site of the shot
- mild fever
- drowsiness or tiredness
- decreased appetite
- fussiness or irritability
- disrupted sleep
However, any sign of fever for infants 4 months old and below warrants a visit to the doctor. To be sure, contact your child’s pediatrician if your baby gets a fever after her vaccine.
Your child’s pediatrician may prescribe a pain reliever or ask you to put warm and cold compress on the inoculated area to reduce pain and swelling.
Serious side effects on the anti-pneumonia vaccine are rare. However, don’t hesitate to consult your child’s doctor if you notice symptoms such as high fever, convulsions, or a skin rash after getting her vaccine.
The protection that the vaccine gives your child against serious and life-threatening diseases far outweigh the temporary side effects. So we hope more parents consider taking this important step in your child’s immunity and overall health. If you have any questions regarding the vaccine and your baby’s immunization schedule, don’t hesitate to consult your child’s pediatrician.
Additional information by Camille Eusebio
Healthline, CDC, Mayo Clinic
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