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Cebu News

Free pneumococcal vaccines soon

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines -  Pneumococcal vaccines will soon be made available to children below five years in the Philippines as part of the administration’s expanded immunization program.

Dr. Lulu Bravo, an internationally known pediatric infectious disease expert, said that pneumonia is the leading cause of death killing 9,000 kids per year or 37 kids per day in the country.

“Pneumonia can be prevented through vaccination,” said Bravo, who is also the executive director of Philippine Foundation for Vaccination.

Recent data showed that GlaxosmithKline’s pneumococcal conjucate vaccine is not just highly effective in preventing invasive pneumoccal disease (IPD) but that the protection it gives is anywhere from 93 percent to 100 percent if given to the most vulnerable age of two years old and below.

“Prevention is the best defense against this killer disease and the study gives us hope. It is a number that should help parents decide to take the vaccine,” Bravo said.

Currently, the vaccine costs around P3,000 to P4,000 per dosage in a private clinic and the child has to be given three to four doses.

With the immunization expansion of the government, this can be given for free especially among the poor kids, who are most vulnerable to this disease.

Dr. Doris Obra, a Cebuana pediatric clinician said that it is sad to note that politicians are not giving importance to vaccination.

Worldwide, 4,300 children die per day or more than a million deaths a year.

Bravo added that IPD kills a child under five years of age every 40 seconds with the majority of these living in the poorest countries.

“Vaccination is the most effective way of saving the lives of our children,” she added.

“I hope politicians will allocate some of their budget for vaccination instead of bickering over flyovers and other projects. Vaccination works,” said Obra.

World billionaires like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet were putting some of their wealth to help the vaccination campaign especially among underdeveloped countries.

“That’s how people of substance think. These billionaires know the importance of vaccination. We are appealing to our politicians as well as our millionaires to help in this campaign. It’s Christmas season, we usually give love but giving vaccination to our kids also means giving life,” Bravo added. (FREEMAN)

 

BILL GATES AND WARREN BUFFET BRAVO CEBUANA DISEASE DR. DORIS OBRA DR. LULU BRAVO OBRA PHILIPPINE FOUNDATION VACCINATION
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