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DOH 12 is short of penta vaccines - says official

HEALTH • 00:08 AM Tue Sep 15, 2015
Malu C. Manar

KIDAPAWAN CITY – The health department in Soccsksargen (Region 12) is still short of pentavalent vaccines or five individual vaccines conjugated in one to protect children from five deadly diseases, an official from the region’s Department of Health (DoH-12) said. Dr. Frank Mateo, DOH-12 assistant regional director, admitted the giving of pentavalent vaccines had already stopped, in the meantime, in many parts of the region. Mateo said the problem is with the bidding process, which, until now, is not yet completed. The bidding is now at the DoH central office. One of the bidders, according to Mateo, is from India. He assured, however, residents of Region 12 that the DOH is expecting the problem would be settled ‘in due time.’ We’re hoping that we get the supplies of penta vaccines so we could distribute it to all parts of the region, as soon as possible,” said Mateo. The city of Kidapawan, Cotabato’s capital, used to receive at least 100 penta vaccines every month. Region 12 also covers cities of Cotabato, General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, and provinces of North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Sarangani. But because of the lack of supply, the giving of vaccines had already stopped, a worker from the City Health office here said. In fact, we have been receiving several complaints from mothers who were actually waiting for so long for the penta vaccines.What can we give if we don’t have?,” she said. The lack of pentavalent vaccines, however, did not stop the DoH-12, including the rural health units in different provinces, from their immunization programs. We remind our people, especially parents of children aged five years and below, that the other antigens or vaccines are still available,” said Mateo. Also, the purchase and later distribution of pentavalent vaccines won’t be affected by the upcoming elections, he stressed. This program won’t be affected even if we’re already nearing elections. It’s now on process.Once it already underwent bidding, then, funds for that won’t be returned to the national treasury,” he explained. Mateo said that a pentavalent vaccine is five individual vaccines conjugated in one intended to actively protect infant and children aged five and below from five potentially deadly diseases, which include haemophilus influenza type B, the bacteria that causes meningitis, pneumonia, and otitis media whooping cough or pertussis tetanus Hepatitis B and diphtheria.

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