DOH releases new 5-in-1 vaccine for babies in Western Visayas

August 11, 2010 10:43 am 

ILOILO CITY, Aug. 10 – The Department of Health–Center for Health Development Western Visayas (DOH-CHD) here has released a new vaccine for babies in the region.

Dr. Renilyn Reyes of the DOH-CHD said that the new vaccine called Pentavalent-Hib offers protection from five infections in just one jab.

These infections are diphtheria, pertussis or whooping cough, tetanus, hepatitis B and hemaphilus influenza type B (Hib). Hib is caused by bacteria which could lead to pneumonia and meningitis in babies. All these five infections could lead to death.

Reyes said that the new vaccine is for babies aged 6 weeks up to 11 months. It will be injected in three doses for free in the health offices in the municipalities all over Western Visayas.

Reyes said giving of the 5-in-1 vaccine will go full blast by September this year. DOH will be delivering the vaccine to the local government units and that the local health workers will be trained on how to administer it.

Likewise, Reyes said only Regions 6, 7, and the Caraga region are administering the 5-in-1 vaccine all over the country. She said that Region 6 and the two other regions were chosen as pilot for the free vaccination due to the very high immunization rate among babies.

DOH admits that Pentavalent-Hib vaccine or 5-in-1 vaccine is already available in private hospitals and clinics but is not readily given to the public for its very high cost. A 5-in-1 vaccine could cost between P2,500 to P4,000 per injection. Babies need three shots of this vaccine and could cost parents around P8,000 to P12,000 in private doctors.

This time, however, the DOH and the national government are now giving it for free, Reyes said. (PNA) LAP/AJP/LPCarnaje

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