by: Rodrigo S. Victoria
NAVAL, Biliran (PIA)- A regional health official strongly called on the cooperation of parents for the successful implementation of school-based immunization which will be conducted in the whole month of August, this year.
“The success of this particular health program depends on the full cooperation of the parents of the identified schoolchildren covered in the immunization”, said Fe Modesto, nurse V and adolescent health program manager of the Department of Health here in Region 8 in an interview.
Modesto urged the parents of identified schoolchildren to include their kids in the school-based immunization program since this will ensure high level of protection and is geared towards the elimination of measles and tetanus and the control of mumps, rubella, and diptheria, while Human Papillomavirus Vaccine (HPV) is introduced as one components in the comprehensive strategy in the prevention of cervical cancer.
In DOH memorandum No. 2015-0146 dated May 20,2015, the guidelines in the implementation of school-based immunization indicated that all grade 1 pupils shall be screened for their measles vaccination history at the time of school entry and vaccinated if evidences show either zero or only one dose to ensure that these students received at least two Measles Containing Vaccine (MCV) by school entry and one dose of Tetanus-diptheria (Td) vaccines.
The guidelines also included all 9 to 13 years old female schoolchildren enrolled in Grade 4 to be vaccinated with 2-dose quadrivalent PMV following the DOH immunization schedule and all male and female students enrolled in Grade 7 regardless of age shall be vaccinated with one dose each of Measles-Rubella (MR) and Td vaccines in the same immunization session.
However, Modesto clarified that here in region 8, the school-based immunization, which will become a routine program in the succeeding years, will cover only schoolchildren in grades 1 and 7, this year.
In region 8, DOH targeted some 113,475 Grade 1 pupils to be administered with the MCV and Td vaccines and 93,243 Grade 7 students to be administered with MR and Td vaccines, Modesto added.
She futher said that a series of orientation on the school-based immunization wil be conducted in the different parts of Eastern Visayas on the following schedules: Baybay City and Ormoc City in Leyte province – July 21; Calbayog City – July 22; Maasin City – July 27 and Catarman in Northern Samar – July 30.
She assured the parents that the free vaccination services to be administered by the health center catchment and the schools are voluntary since only students with parental and guardian consent shall be vaccinated.
A student shall not be suspended, grounded, nor reprimanded in case of zero or one dose and vaccination refusal, Modesto added.
Safety measures were also put in place during the conduct of the immunizations to ensure the protection of schoolchildren, she emphasized. # (fj/PIA 8 Biliran)