The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first reading a proposed ordinance mandating that all fully vaccinated children shall be admitted to the various child development centers under the city government.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Betty Lourdes F. Tabanda stated that the proposed measure is anchored on Republic Act (RA) No.10152 which provides that the State shall adopt a comprehensive, mandator and sustainable immunization program for vaccine preventable diseases for all infants and children.
Further, Section 15, Article 2 of the Philippine Constitution acknowledges the right to health of the people and to instill health consciousness among them. Towards the said end, only children with complete immunization records shall be accepted at the child development centers of the local government.
Under the proposed ordinance, the social worker, as the service provided of the child development center, will be mandated to require the parent or guardian of the child to present the child immunization record or vaccination card upon enrollment.
Should the parent or guardian fail to present any, or was able to present one but which reflects an incomplete record of vaccines receives by the child according to protocol, the day care worker shall advise the parent or guardian to execute an undertaking to have the child vaccinated or complete the vaccine requirements based on protocol.
The proponent claimed that the proposed ordinance seeks to encourage parents to have their children receive the mandatory vaccines against preventable diseases based on protocol.
Moreover, this measure is intended to protect the children from infection and to prevent the spread of the infection to other children.
RA 10152 provides for the mandatory immunization services for infants and children, repealing for the purpose Presidential Decree (PD) No. 996, as amended otherwise known as the Mandatory Infant and Children Health Immunization law of 2011.
The mandatory basic immunization covers the various vaccine preventable diseases such as tuberculosis, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DPT), poliomyelitis, measles, mumps, rubella or German measles, hepatitis-B, H. influenza type B, and such other types as may be determined by the Secretary of health.
The ordinance underscored that immunization boosts the infants’ and child’s immune system and realty reduces the severity of the disease.
According to the proposal, it protects the body from serious complications that have debilitating and fatal effects.
The ordinance stipulated that parents and guardians should avail of the mandatory vaccination as it is given for free at any government hospital or health center to infants and children up to 5 years of age based on the recommended schedule as contained in existing health protocols crafted by health experts.
However, the ordinance admitted that there may be still infants and children who have not yet received the immunization shots for whatever reason or belief. Vaccination gives protection not only to the vaccinated but also to the people around them, especially the vulnerable groups, thus, it is important that infants and children be protected through vaccination so as not to be infected or to infect others.