This year will be the third year of the program and the target number of students to be immunized is more or less 33,000.
Grade 1 and Grade 7 students are most likely to be the target patients of the activity because of the increasing demand of this catch up immunization. Students shall be vaccinated with Measles-Rubella (MR) and Tetanus-Diphtheria (Td) vaccines on the same immunization schedule.
MR vaccine is for measles and rubella which are highly contagious and spread through the air from person to person through coughing, sneezing, or simply breathing.
The Td vaccine is for tetanus which is also a serious illness caused by tetanus bacteria. These bacteria can be found in soil, saliva, dust and manure. It usually enters the body through deep cut, like those you might get from cutting yourself with a knife or stepping on a nail.
However, Human papilloma vaccine (HPV) is given to 9 year old children at the health center. The HPV is one of the preventive interventions for cervical cancer in later life.
The Department of Education shall be responsible for the implementation of the immunization in schools, issue memorandums about the activity, inform the students/parents/teachers/school clinic staff, screen students at school entry, and submit report to local health units. They are also entitled to ensure the complete vaccination status of all children entering primary school.
According to Ma. Razel Bustaria, Nurse IV of Sarangani PHO and the Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health and Nutrition (MNCHN) coordinator, the target number of children to be immunized this year is: Grade 1 - 12,770, Grade 7 - 12,102 and 9 years old - 8,703, with the total number of 33,575 children.
The main purpose of this program is to protect the individual and also protect other members of the family and the community, and because vaccination is proven to be the most effective public health intervention. (Donna Mahusay/SARANGANI COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES)