News Release

DOH aims to bring back PH ‘golden years’ of immunization

The Department of Health (DOH) is now working on bringing back the “golden years” of immunization in the Philippines in which the people are not afraid of getting inoculated, according to Health Undersecretary and spokesperson Dr. Eric Tayag.

In a news forum in Quezon City, Dr. Tayag said the DOH wants to bring back the country’s prominence as having at least 90 percent immunization coverage.

Tayag said the immunization coverage was high in the Philippines when there was a campaign to eliminate polio under the “Oplan Alis Disease” campaign.

“Ang Pilipinas ay isa sa hinahangaan sapagkat hindi bababa sa 90 percent iyong nakukuha naming vaccine coverage lalo na, na nag-umpisa po sa kaniya ang polio elimination sa ating bansa,” Tayag said, referring to DOH’s former campaign.

“Iyan po ang number one priority niya (DOH Secretary Ted Herbosa) po, maibalik po iyong mga panahon ng dating Kalihim Juan Flavier ang sigla sa pagbabakuna sa ating bansa,” he added.

Tayag said they are now trying to explain to the public the benefits of immunization as he emphasized the people are now doubting the program’s safety and efficacy due to the Dengvaxia scare.

“Iyong coverage ng bakuna natin ay tumatakbo between 75 hanggang 85 percent po,” Tayag said, referring to the immunization coverage in the Philippines before the so-called Dengvaxia scare.

“After Dengvaxia po ito ay bumaba ng 65, 60 percent. Kaya lang po may gusto rin kaming ipaliwanag dito sapat iyong report naming vaccine coverage ay sa public sector po,” the health official added.

Tayag, however, said the immunization coverage is now getting back to normalcy when the people have slowly regained their trust and confidence to vaccines when the country was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tayag also clarified the immunization coverage is already high since the current record does not cover the initiatives of the private sector in also conducting inoculation drive against certain diseases.

“Hindi lang naman po iyong pamahalaan po natin o Department of Health ang may programa sa bakuna, dahil marami na ring umangat sa buhay po nila, marami ang nagpapabakuna rin sa private sector,” he said.

Tayag said they are now closely coordinating with the Philippine Pediatric Society and other private entities, which recorded around 10 to 20 percent of their inoculation drive, bringing the country’s coverage to around 60 to 70 percent.

Tayag added that they are not just looking at the vaccine coverage, but also at the availability of the vaccines in the country. *PND*