The Department of Health (DOH) today brings the School-based Immunization (SBI) campaign in the cities of Manila and Pasig, and continues to encourage mothers and caregivers to avail of the government’s free immunization service to provide children, as well as adolescents, greater protection against vaccine preventable diseases.

“School-based immunization is a strategy for reaching older children and adolescents,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said. “It is a platform to provide second opportunity for vaccination and an excellent platform integrates other public health interventions like mass deworming.”

For the City of Manila particularly at the Ramon Magsaysay High School, a total of 100 Grade 7 students will be vaccinated with Measles, Rubella, and booster shots of Tetanus and Diphtheria (MR-TD) vaccine.

While, a total of 1,500 Grades 1-7 students from the Pasig Elementary School are being targeted to be given shots of MR-TD vaccines. Seelected Grade 4 female students will also be given shots of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.

The DOH’s school-based immunization program aims to reach more children, especially with the yearly increase in the number of enrollees.  School-based immunization was piloted in 2013 in selected provinces and cities nationwide. In August 2015, the DOH, in collaboration with Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), successfully conducted vaccination in 38,688 public schools nationwide providing a second dose for measles and booster doses for diphtheria and tetanus. This became a yearly activity since 2015 when August was declared School-Based Immunization month.

Since its relaunching in Taguig City in the first week of July which vaccinated a total of 2,259 students from Signal Village National High School, SBI was also conducted in Valenzuela City particularly at Apolonia Rafael Elementary School, where an overall total of 76,477 students were vaccinated with MCV, TD and HPV.

According to Duque, after the successful implementation of the Measles Outbreak Response (ORI) providing measles containing vaccine to the most vulnerable population (6 – 59 month old) nationwide reaching the last mile (Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas, GIDA). the DOH will continue to provide MCV to school age children from kindergarten to grade 7 using the school based platform. The program will also provide grade 1 and 7 learners nationwide with booster doses of tetanus-diphtheria.

The health chief stressed that only learners with parental consent will be vaccinated after a quick health assessment and evaluation of their immunization status against measles.

A total of 9,913,032 learners are targeted to receive MCV using the school bases platform. For the 2019 school-based immunization, school children from kindergarten to grade 7 (K – 7) are the target population to be vaccinated.

School-based immunization pre-implementation started June 2019 while actual vaccination using selective strategy in the country’s different regions will be until September 2019.

“To all parents and caregivers, protect your children against vaccine preventable diseases. Bring them back to the health centers and get them vaccinated. Back to the health centers. Back to Bakuna. Una sa lahat Bakuna.”, Duque concluded.