Vaccines save lives! Moms, take note of the childhood immunization schedule in the Philippines.
What can you read in this article?
- Childhood immunization schedule in the Philippines
- 14 vaccines your child needs
- What happens if my baby misses a vaccine?
- Pediatric vaccine against COVID-19
Importantly, now more than ever, we have seen the difference a vaccine makes to protect us from disease. Those who thought they can do without it before are now thinking of the importance of vaccines to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.
Vaccines save 2 to 3 million lives worldwide each year. For over six decades, vaccines have helped eradicate smallpox and, currently, they are close to wiping out polio completely. This is why it is an essential part of a child’s growth and development. Raising happy and healthy kids means making sure they get the best protection and care.
For parents in the Philippines, we have been briefed by our children’s pediatricians on the childhood immunization schedule that we need to follow, to ensure that they are protected.
However, there are some who still have questions about it. “Does my child need all of these vaccines?” “What if he misses a dose?” Let us try to answer and discuss them here.
Why does my child need to get vaccinated?
According to the Philippine Pediatric Society, vaccines are important because they prevent certain childhood diseases. Which are highly communicable and may lead to serious consequences both in children and in adults.
They also play a role in reducing the risk of infections that are not common. But are associated with severe life-threatening conditions and/or disabilities.
Before vaccines became widely available, many children died from diseases that vaccines now prevent.
How do vaccines work exactly?
They stimulate the body’s own immune system, shielding it from recurrent infection or diseases.
Won’t getting the disease provide better protection and immunity?
In most cases, being vaccinated gives the same quality of protection as getting the disease itself. But with the advantage of not having the complications and risk that comes with being sick.
Moreover, there are some diseases like tetanus and diphtheria. In spite of the person getting the infection, does not provide immunity, so the person would still require vaccination.
Importantly, although vaccination does not guarantee 100% protection, vaccinated children, if they do develop the disease, are expected to have a milder form.
“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,” said Dr. Cecilia Alinea, a pediatrician and ambulatory diseases specialist.
Childhood immunization schedule in the Philippines
Here in the country, babies receive most of their required immunization before the age of 2. However, some vaccines, like influenza or flu vaccine, can be given throughout their life.
On the recent celebration of World Immunization Week 2022 in the Philippines, theAsianparent Philippines, Department of Health, and Sanofi Philippines conducted a webinar entitled, Bakuna Real Talks: Magpabakuna Na! Long Life kaya sa Healthy Pilipinas.
Dr. Kim Patrick S. Tejano shared this chart of the National Immunization Program Vaccines of the Department of Health.
Based on this chart, there are 15 vaccines that should be given to a child, from birth up to 18 years of age, and also immunization to 60 years old and above.
Cleary, the National Immunization Program Vaccines is not only giving emphasis on the importance of vaccines to children, but also to teenagers and older people.
According to Dr. Tejano, the Department of Health gives free immunization to Filipinos, especially children. He also shared how vaccines have a big role in preventing diseases and illness that is irreversible like polio.
“It is possible for a child to develop a disease that cannot be cured and he can carry for the rest of his life.”
He also stated that,
“Vaccines are the most effective way to prevent your child from these diseases.”
If you wanna know more about this webinar watch it here!
The following vaccines must be administered for free to Filipino children under the age of 5 by government hospitals and health centers in the Philippines, as they are part of the National Immunization Program (NIP).
Bacillus Calmette–Guérin Vaccine (BCG)
At birth, babies are given BCG (Bacillus Calmette–Guérin), which protects children against tuberculosis and leprosy. BCG is given at the earliest possible age after birth preferably within the first 2 months of life.
Monovalent Hepatitis B vaccine
Monovalent HPV is administered intramuscularly, and the first dose is in the first 24 hours after birth. The second dose is in the 4th week after the first dose or 1 to 2 months after the first dose/injection. While the third and last twelve are after 24 weeks postpartum or 6 months old.
The vaccination schedule is different when the child is born pre-term. Hepatitis B can damage the liver and can cause cancer in old age.
According to the Department of Health (DOH), OPV is given orally, providing protection in the mouth, in the intestines, and then in the blood. Protection in the mouth and intestines are important as polioviruses infect the mouth and multiply in the intestines.
The oral poliovirus vaccine or inactivated poliovirus vaccine is given when the child is 6 weeks old. According to the EPI, it is usually combined with DPT, HIB, Hep B vaccines, at the 6th, 10th and 14th week. As long as there is an interval of 4 weeks every twelve.
The booster dose is optional at the child’s 4th year of age and at least 6 months from the last dose. It provides protection against the polio disease that causes disability. Due to weakening of the bones and difficulty in walking or moving the leg.
Inactivated Polio Vaccine (OPV)
IPV is a vaccine given with the third dose of OPV, when your child is 3½ months old. It is an injectable vaccine that provides protection in the blood. This vaccine further strengthens the protection given by OPV and helps increase the overall protection of your child against polio.
is a 5-in-1 vaccine that protects against Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, and Hib disease. Hib disease is also known as Haemophilus influenza type b and causes skin infections, blood infections, or even meningitis. Hib meningitis is a preventable disease, but very deadly. Children who do survive it end up with deafness, seizures, or mental retardation.
Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine (MMR)
Measles, mumps and rubella are viral diseases that are highly contagious especially in children, and can lead to serious health complications. Pediatricians recommend that the first dose of MMR be administered at 12 months of age. The following two doses are administered at 16 months and 6 years of age.
This 3-in-one shot protects against the symptoms and complications of measles (can lead to ear infection, pneumonia, seizures (jerking and staring), brain damage, and death); mumps (can lead to deafness, meningitis (infection of the brain and spinal cord covering), painful swelling of the testicles or ovaries, rare cases of sterility; and rubella or German Measles, which is more likely to cause severe problems when it infects a pregnant woman, causing miscarriage or birth defects.
Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV)
Pneumonia is caused by pneumococcus bacteria or Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) bacteria. It is dangerous and can be fatal, especially to young children with a weak immune system. PCV is given at 6 weeks of age, and its primary vaccination has 3 doses, with an interval of at least 4 weeks, and with a booster at 6 months after the third dose.
Given at the age of 9 months, the measles vaccine (MR) may be given as early as age 6 months in cases of outbreaks as declared by public health authorities.
This protects against the ill effects of the disease, including malnutrition, poor mental development, and hearing and visual problems. Measles can also be fatal.
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Meanwhile, here are the other vaccines that aren’t included in the NIP. But are recommended by the PPS, Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines and Philippine Foundation for Vaccination.
Rotavirus is the leading cause of severe acute gastroenteritis (vomiting and severe diarrhea) among children worldwide. Severe rotavirus diarrhea is especially risky for children below 2 years old.
The first dose of the rotavirus vaccine should be given orally at 1 1/2 months or 6 weeks old, according to the DOH. One month later, the second dose should be given.
This vaccine protects your child from influenza or flu. Its a highly contagious viral infection that affects the air passages of the lungs. It causes a high fever, body aches, a cough, and other symptoms. Some cases can lead to serious complications.
According to PPS, children aged 6 months to 8 years receiving influenza vaccine for the 1st time should receive 2 doses separated by at least 4 weeks. Meanwhile, children ages 9 to 18 years should receive one dose of the vaccine yearly.
Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus is the leading cause of vaccine-preventable encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) in Asian countries. This disease has a high mortality rate.
Children ages 9 months to 17 years should receive one primary dose followed by a booster dose 12-24 months after the primary dose.
Varicella (chickenpox) Vaccine
Varicella or chickenpox is a highly contagious viral infection that causes fever and an itchy rash with spots all over the body. The varicella vaccine is given in two doses, at a minimum age of 12 months.
Two doses of varicella vaccine are recommended. The second dose is usually given at 4-6 years of age but may be given earlier at an interval of 3 months from the first dose.
Hepatitis A vaccine (HAV)
Not all countries require the Hep A vaccine, but in the Philippines where poor sanitation is commonly present, your child is better off protected. While most cases are mild, severe ones are life-threatening. Hep A virus can be transmitted through contaminated food or water.
There are two types of Hepatitis A vaccines, the Inactivated Hepatitis A Vaccine given at 2 doses starting at 12 months (next dose is after 6 months), and the Live attenuated Hepatitis A Vaccine that is given at 18 months.
Human Papillomavirus vaccine (HPV)
Human Papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted infection. Which infects the skin and mucous membranes of the genital areas of men and women.
2 doses of the HPV vaccine is recommended in children ages 9 and up to protect them from serious sexually transmitted disease in the future.
12 important vaccines for teens and adults
Immunization is a life-long, life-saving task. Make sure you and your healthcare provider are both up to date on your vaccines. Check to see if you’ve had all of the required vaccines.
1. Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine
You’ll need two doses of this vaccination if you haven’t been inoculated and haven’t had chickenpox. Anyone who received only one dose of the vaccine should receive a second dose.
2. Hepatitis A
This vaccine requires two doses if you haven’t been immunized. Anyone who received only one dose of the vaccine should receive a second dose.
3. Hepatitis B
All people between the ages of 0 and 18 should have this immunization. If you haven’t already had it, you’ll need a hepatitis B vaccine series.
4. Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (Hib)
Do you need it? Maybe. This vaccination is required if you haven’t been immunized against Hib and have a high-risk condition (such as a non-functioning spleen).
5. Influenza (Flu)
Annual influenza vaccine is required for everyone aged 6 months and up.
6. Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
Do you need it? Yes! If you haven’t already had the MMR vaccine, you’ll need two doses. The MMR vaccine is frequently administered to children while they are young.
7. Meningococcal ACWY (MenACWY, MCV4)
MenACWY vaccination is required for all preteens and teens, with the first dose administered at 11–12 years of age and the second administered at 16 years of age.
If you’re a first-year college student living in a dorm, you’ll need a dosage of MenACWY if you’ve never had it or haven’t had it since you were less than 16.
If you have a high-risk health condition, you’ll need boosters on a regular basis. Inquire with your doctor if you have a risk factor.
8. Meningococcal B (MenB)
Teenagers who want to be protected against meningitis type B should have two doses of the MenB vaccination starting at the age of 16.
Teens with certain risk factors (such as a non-functioning spleen) should also be vaccinated, and boosters should be given if the risk persists. Inquire with your doctor if you have a risk factor.
9. Pneumococcal (Pneumovax, PPSV23; Prevnar, PCV)
Do you need it? Maybe. Do you suffer from a chronic illness? If that’s the case, talk to your doctor about whether you need one or both pneumococcal immunizations.
10. Human papillomavirus (HPV)
The HPV vaccine is usually administered to preteens between the ages of 11 and 12. However, it can be started as early as age 9. Teenagers who haven’t been vaccinated yet will require two or three doses. This vaccine guards against HPV, a virus that causes genital warts and a variety of cancers.
11. Polio (IPV)
If you haven’t already had your polio vaccine, you’ll need at least three doses. The Polio vaccine is frequently given to children while they are young.
12. Tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough (Tdap; Td)
Tdap vaccination, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough, is required for all preteens, adolescents, and adults (pertussis).
You will require a Tdap or tetanus-diphtheria (Td) vaccine every ten years after receiving a Tdap dosage. If you become pregnant, you will need another dose of Tdap at least once during the third trimester of your pregnancy.
Can you give paracetamol if your child got a fever after being vaccinated?
According to Dr. Tejano, if your child had a fever after having his vaccine, it only means that the vaccine is working on his immune system.
“Yes, you can give paracetamol to your child. As long as he has no allergy to paracetamol,” he stated.
What if my child misses his shot? Can he still take it?
Image from Pexels
Yes. There is such a thing as catch-up immunization. It refers to the giving of vaccines that were not given on the recommended immunization schedule, for whatever reason.
If your child is sick on the day that he is scheduled to have his vaccination, you may talk to your child’s pediatrician to have it rescheduled.
The only thing that cannot be included in catch-up immunization is the Rotavirus vaccine. This is the vaccine that can prevent diarrhea in babies. The maximum age to receive it is 32 weeks or 8 months old.
Your child’s doctor will probably keep track of your child’s immunization. But it’s important to keep your own record, along with copies, in order to provide them when requested by another physician or as a requirement in school or travel.
Your child’s pediatrician can provide an immunization schedule that best meets your child’s needs. So don’t hesitate to consult her when it comes to this important part of your child’s health.
Pediatric vaccine against COVID-19
Our best hope for ending the COVID-19 pandemic is vaccines. COVID vaccine will be accessible for children aged 5 and above in the fourth quarter of 2021, and boosters will be available for those aged 12 and up.
Only Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine has received an emergency use authorization for children aged five to eleven.
Anyone who is eligible should get vaccinated with whatever vaccination is available. The COVID-19 vaccination is available for free. The Pfizer BioNTech mRNA vaccine is currently the only COVID-19 vaccination available for children. The COVID shot for children aged 5 to 11 is a lower dose than the dose advised for persons aged 12 and up.
A booster shot for children provides an additional layer of protection. A booster dose is strongly recommended for everyone who had two doses of the mRNA COVID vaccination at least five months ago. Only Pfizer-BioNTech can be administered as a booster in children and teenagers who are qualified.
For some children with particular medical conditions or who are taking medicines that weaken the immune system, a third primary series dosage is indicated.
A third dosage is advised as part of the primary series for children aged 5 and up who have impaired immune systems. Children between the ages of 12 and 17 who have a compromised immune system should receive a booster dosage three months following the third dose. The extra dose will aid in the development of maximum protection against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The 11.1 million youngsters under the age of five are the only ones who have not yet been vaccinated. According to Rappler, Moderna recently declared that it will apply to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency approval of its vaccine for children aged 6 months to 6 years old. Currently, the group is ineligible to get any COVID-19 vaccine.
Side effects of COVID-19 vaccines for kids
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccinations caused negative effects in children that were similar to those seen in persons aged 16 and up. The following are the most commonly reported adverse effects:
- Pain, redness or swelling where the shot was given
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Nausea and vomiting
- Feeling unwell
Children, like adults, have adverse effects within two days after immunization, which normally last one to three days. After the second dosage of the vaccination, more children experienced these adverse effects, with the exception of injection site pain. Some people, on the other hand, experience no side effects.
Your child will be observed for 15 to 30 minutes after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine to see if he or she develops an allergic reaction that requires treatment.
To avoid side effects, it is not suggested that you give your child an over-the-counter pain medicine before immunization. This type of medication is safe to provide after your child has received the COVID-19 vaccine.
Can my child get the vaccine if they have COVID-19?
If your child has an active COVID-19 infection, they should wait until they’ve healed before getting vaccinated. They should also adhere to their prescribed isolation duration. This also applies to children who contract COVID-19 between their first and second immunization doses.
Updates from Matt Doctor
Here at theAsianparent Philippines, it’s important for us to give information that is correct, significant, and timely. But this doesn’t serve as an alternative for medical advise or medical treatment. TheAsianparent Philippines is not responsible to those that would choose to drink medicines based on information from our website. If you have any doubts, we recommend to consult your doctor for clearer information.
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