SDO SAN JUAN LEADS PARENTS FORUM ON SCHOOL-BASED IMMUNIZATION
[endif]--The Department of Health (DOH), in coordination with SDO San Juan and the City Health Office, conducted a Parents Forum on School-Based Immunization last July 15, 2019 at the Multipurpose Hall, City Government Centre, San Juan City. In attendance were 50 selected parent leaders from all the 8 public elementary and secondary schools, SDO representatives and others guests.
The forum was facilitated by Ms. Theresa Arbis, PHN II National Immunization Program (NIP) Nurse Coordinator. She explained that the School-Based Immunization with Measles-Rubella (MR) and Tetanus-Diphtheria (Td) was first implemented in SDO San Juan on August 2015 with Grade 1 and Grade 7 learners as its target population. It aims to prevent morbidity and mortality on vaccine-preventable diseases by providing booster doses to school-aged children. A decrease in the coverage of vaccination was recorded in 2018, brought about by the scare with another vaccine, and the negative consequences of this have been evident since.
Dr. Rosalie Sto. Domingo, San Juan City Health Officer, welcomed the parents and guests with the assurance that the vaccines to be administered during the School-Based Immunization are both safe and effective, as it had been routinely used in the Philippines and worldwide for the past decades. She also stressed that the parents have the key role in ensuring the optimal health of their children, and hoped that the forum will help them make more informed decisions.
As a partner in the implementation of School-Based Immunization, SDO San Juan’s very own OIC Assistant Schools Division Superintendent, Mrs. Flordelisa Pereyra, said that vaccinations may seem scary especially to children who are scared of injections, but the benefits far outweigh any fear because the protection that the children will get, they will carry for a lifetime. “We wish that parents who are present here today will help us share what they will learn in the forum to the parents who always respond “No” to their children’s vaccination permits as they are the ones who need the right information”, she added.
DOH NIP Cold Chain Manager, Mr. Julius Velasquez, on a lighter note, relayed that the reason he is that tall is because he has never missed a vaccination in his life. He also reminded the parents that of the recent measles outbreak that might have been caused by less and less parents having their children vaccinated.
Dr. Agnes de Lara, San Juan NIP Medical Coordinator, gave the lecture proper on the different vaccines and the diseases they are helping to prevent. She talks about Measles, Rubella, Tetanus and Diphtheria-their means of transmission, signs and symptoms and management. Each of them is communicable, but all are vaccine-preventable. She also highlighted the importance of having more children vaccinated in order to give rise to herd immunity. Herd Immunity means the more people in the community are vaccinated against a certain communicable disease, the harder it is for that disease to spread. It applies to all communities, most especially in the schools, where the children spend almost half of their day. She also facilitated the open forum where parents were encouraged to voice out their concerns and make clarifications on vaccine-related issues, all of which were aptly responded upon.
The forum concluded with parents who are eager to share their learning experiences with co-parents in their respective schools, all hoping that it will bring about a positive response for the successful implementation of the School-Based Immunization this August 2019.
Article written by:
Michelle Cielito C. Abraham (Division Nurse II)