The Department of Health said adolescents aged 10 to 19 years old are prone to vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs), especially if they have not received booster shots.
“There are vaccines with waning protection through the years when school-age or adolescent age is reached like diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus. That’s why there should be boosters at least every five years,” said Dr. Janis Asuncion Bunoan-Macazo, medical officer of the DOH Child, Adolescent and Maternal Health Division, Disease Prevention and Control Bureau.
She said a child must receive one bacille Calmette-Guerin vaccine for tuberculosis; three doses of Pentavalent vaccine for hepatitis B, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, H. influenza B; three doses of oral polio vaccine; two doses of inactivated polio vaccine; three doses of pneumococcal vaccine; and two doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine before they reach one year old.
Adolescents must receive booster doses for measles-rubella vaccine, tetanus-diphtheria vaccine, hepatitis A vaccine, hepatitis B vaccine, influenza, and varicella or chicken pox.
Adolescent girls who are between nine and 14 years old must receive human papillomavirus vaccine as protection against cervical cancer, Bunoan-Macazo said.
To keep all youths from having severe symptoms of Covid-19, they are also recommended to receive primary series of vaccines and booster doses.
“According to 2022 data, 13 for every 100 cases of measles cases, 40 in every 100 cases of diphtheria, and 11 in every 100 cases of whooping cough or pertussis and teenagers,” Bunoan-Macazo said.
The DOH offers free vaccines against measles-rubella, tetanus-diphtheria vaccine for grades 1 and 7 students and HPV vaccine for Grade 4 female students at public schools and barangay health centers.
The agency also underscored the importance of vaccinating nine out of 10 individuals or 95 percent of the population to achieve herd immunity and to better protect the unvaccinated infants, pregnant women, senior citizens, and people who cannot receive vaccines due to comorbidities. – PNA