June 17, 2024

The Department of Health is procuring at least 800,000 vaccine doses to prevent the further spread of pertussis.

“We expect the new batch of vaccines, which is around 800,000 to 1 million to arrive in June. It’s through Unicef. There will be a bidding (and) the manufacturers will be from India and China,” Health Usec/ Eric Tayag said at the Saturday News Forum in Quezon City.

He added that more than PHP8 billion has been allocated for the procurement of all types of vaccines “for the Filipino people.”

He said that like Covid-19, cases have to be confirmed through swab tests. So far, 167 cases have been confirmed as pertussis, out of the reported 453.

Tayag urged parents, especially mothers, to have their young children vaccinated against the disease.

“As early as weeks-old babies and up to 12-year-old children may avail of the vaccine, which is being provided by the department for free. Mothers and other guardians are advised to go to health centers in their locality to avail of free vaccine,” he said.

Pertussis is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis, resulting in a highly contagious respiratory infection.

It is transmitted through person-to-person respiratory droplets, or contact with airborne droplets and exposure to infected or contaminated clothes, utensils, and furniture, among others.

Symptoms include a persisting cough that may last two or more weeks, mild fever, and a runny nose. – PNA