DOH-ARMM offers free immunization to 200,000 students
Cotabato City (August 7, 2015) – More than 200,000 students in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will receive free immunization from the region’s Department of Health (DOH-ARMM) within this month.
Around 55,000 Grade 1 and 157,000 Grade 7 students from different public schools in the region are targeted to receive free immunization against measles, rubella, tetanus, and diphtheria. These are infectious diseases that could cause serious illness and disability and could even cause death in worst cases.
The school-based immunization program is part of the DOH’s national drive dubbed “Bakuna para sa Kabataan, Proteksyon sa Kinabukasan.” The program is pursued in coordination with the region’s Department of Education and Department of the Interior and Local Government.
The immunization program was officially launched in the region on Monday, August 3, in Maguindanao province. As of date, DOH-ARMM already immunized students in the provinces of Sulu and Basilan, including the city of Lamitan. The program will run until the end of the month.
DOH-ARMM officials said the vaccines used for the program are safe and effective, approved by the World Health Organization, and are used worldwide. An orientation involving the parents, guardians, as well as teachers, are conducted prior to the actual immunization
Students could experience discomfort due to the painful yet tolerable administration of the vaccine, the DOH-ARMM noted. In addition, the agency said the vaccine might have possible side effects such as fainting, swelling or redness on the injection area, fever, and rashes.
The school-based immunization program targets to immunize over 2.4 million Grade 1 and more than 1.6 million Grade 7 students all over the Philippines. However, only children with consent forms from their parents, or guardians would undergo immunization. (Bureau of Public Information)