The Pinoy parent's guide to their child's immunization schedule

Take note of the updated 2017 immunization schedule approved by the Philippine Pediatric Society.

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.

How do vaccines work exactly? They stimulate the body’s own immune system, shielding it from recurrent infection or diseases.

In the Philippines, babies receive most of their required immunization before they turn 2 years old. While some vaccines, like the Influenza vaccine, can be given throughout their life. Most recently, the Dengue Tetravalent vaccine was added to the Childhood Immunization Schedule for 2017, nearly a year since the Department of Health announced it was already available in the market.

It’s important to consult your pediatrician, to address your questions and concerns, throughout the process of vaccination.

vaccines

Each year, Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) prepares an immunization guide in collaboration with the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines and the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination (PFV).

photo: Philvaccine.org

It’s important to note that the asterisks in the chart indicate that the vaccines should be given at least 4 weeks apart.

At birth, babies are given BGC (Bacillus Calmette–Guérin), which is an anti-tuberculosis vaccine, as well as the Hepatitis B vaccine.

DPT-Hib-Hep B Vaccine, which is a 5-in-1 vaccine that protects against Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio and Hib disease. Hib disease is also known as Haemophilus influenzae type b and causes skin infections, blood infections, or even meningitis.

Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine (MMR): 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.

Rotavirus vaccine: The first dose of 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.

Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV): Pneumonia has been one of the leading causes of death in kids under the age of 5 in the Philippines, says the DOH. So, in an effort to fight this, the DOH included this in the list of required immunization back in 2013.

The following must be administered for free to Filipino children under the age of 5 by government hospitals and health centers in the Philippines, according to Republic Act No. 10152 or the Mandatory Infant and Children Health Immunization Act. This law states that health practitioners have the obligation to inform parents and caregivers of the availability of free vaccines, such as:

  • BCG Vaccine
  • Monovalent Hepatitis B vaccine
  • Oral Polio Vaccine
  • DPT-Hib-Hep B Vaccine
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine (MMR)

While your pediatrician will keep track of your child’s immunization, it’s important to keep your own record, along with copies, in order to provide them when requested by your child’s school.

READ: UNICEF: Breastfeeding within first hour of birth is the baby’s “first vaccine”

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