The Philippine Medical Association (PMA) said that children who were fully or completely vaccinated during their first two years can still be vaccinated with the ones that they missed to help them combat the effects of vaccine-preventable illnesses which they might contract during their life stages.
PMA immediate past president Dr. Benedict Atienza claimed that young adults who were not vaccinated with the prescribed vaccines during their first two years of life can still be inoculated by availing of the so-called catch-up vaccination so that they will be spared from contracting severe infection of the vaccine-preventable illnesses that they might acquire during the life stages.
He pointed out that it is still best for Filipinos to avail of the catch-up program to reduce the severity of the vaccine-preventable illnesses that they might contract in whatever stage of their lives and for them to remain healthy and productive.
Experts consider a child to be fully vaccinated when they are inoculated with the six mandatory vaccines that should be inoculated on them from birth to two years and that they are considered fully vaccinated when they get vaccinated with the additional shots of hepatitis, anti-tetanus, among others.
The PMA official underscored that the government embarked on a catch up immunization program pursuant to the marching orders of the World Health Organization (WHO) to help restore the vaccine confidence of people on the available vaccines that are supposed to be inoculated on them during the different life stages considering the immunization can be spread through the life course as people need to strengthen their immunity from vaccine preventable illnesses.
Earlier, the WHO advised governments worldwide to implement the so-called catch up, restore and strengthen vaccination of the people in the different life stages to achieve the targeted 95 percent herd immunity of their respective population considering that the rollout of the vaccination in the different life stages had been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Atienza claimed that based on data from the health department, the government needs to catch up on the vaccination of children, adolescents, adult and the elderly for the vaccines that should be rolled out on them and to restore the vaccination programs and strengthen them to realize the desired herd immunity in the next two years to address the low vaccination turnout across the life stages.
Atienza was one of the speakers during the recently concluded Seminar Workshop on Injecting Hope Catch Up Vaccination and Life-Course Immunization spearheaded by the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) in partnership with Pfizer Philippines, Pharmaceutical and Health Care Association of the Philippines (PHAP), the Philippine Medical Association (PMA), the Philippine Alliance of Patient Organizations (PAPO) and the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination, Inc. (PFVI).
He assured that the PMA will definitely serve as one of the government’s steadfast partners in the implementation of the vaccination program for the health and safety of Filipinos. By Dexter A. See